Lawyers Honour HC Directives, Suspend Strike24 December 2011
Jammu: After 27 days of agitation, the Bar Association of Jammu (BAJ) on Saturday suspended its strike apparently after the Jammu and Kashmir High Court directions, asking the government to put the SRO - with regard to the transfer of registration powers from judicial officials to revenue officials - on hold. Court had also directed the lawyers to resume the work keeping in view the hardships faced by the common man. The decision to suspend the strike was taken at the General House meeting of BAJ, after thorough discussion on the directions of the court. Bar also urged the lawyers at tehsil level to resume their work keeping in view the high court directions which has put the implementation of the order on hold. Announcing the decision during a press conference, the BAJ President B S Slathia said that though the government order has not been completely withdrawn and only put on hold, but it is victory for the lawyers. “It was all possible due to the massive support we received during past over three weeks from social and political organizations. But we will continue our fight till the scraping of the order”, said Slathia. He said that the agitation has sent clear message to the administration that it cannot force any decision on the people of the state. “Our protests remained peaceful and it became a peoples’ movement against the anti-people order of the coalition government”, he said. He lashed out at the cabinet ministers for approving the order under which registration powers will be taken away from the Judiciary and given to the revenue officials, particularly that of land registration. Pertinently, High Court on Friday had stayed the government order of transferring powers of land registration and directed the Bar to resume work. The government had passed the order in November this year but the Bar opposed the move. They alleged that it will benefit the land mafia and take away the livelihood of hundreds of lawyers. The Bar boycotted the courts from November 27 demanding rollback of the decision. Though the association members held two meetings with the government, but they remained adamant over their demand that till the decision was not revoked they will continue their agitation. On Thursday Registrar General of the High Court submitted a report to the Chief Justice of the State High Court, Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla who had treated it as the Public Interest Litigation (PIL). A Special Bench comprising of three Judges, Justice Virender Singh, Justice J P Singh and Justice Hasnain Masoodi was constituted to look into the entire issue. The bench has issued notices to the State through Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary, Finance Department, Registrar General of High Court and Bar Association Jammu through its President.