Srinagar: Mian Abdul Qayoom, one of Kashmir’s prominent lawyers, was Thursday re-elected as president of Kashmir High Court Bar Association (KHCBA).
In a triangular contest, Qayoom defeated his nearest rival Nazir A Ronga by a margin of 115 votes, while the third contestant, Abdul Majid Khan, could manage just 20 votes.
Qayoom bagged 329 votes while Ronga, who fought the elections on the slogan of ‘vote for change’, got 214. More than 800 lawyers were eligible to vote but only 568 of them cast ballot. Five votes were rejected.
Addressing the lawyers soon after the election results were out, Qayoom listed his priorities and vowed to pursue the constitution of KHCBA vis-à-vis Kashmir issue “in its letter and spirit.”
“We will continue to take forward the policies of the Bar Association in the same manner as has been done in the past. We assure you that we will continue to pursue the constitution with regard to the resolution of Kashmir issue till its resolution in accordance with the wishes and aspiration of people of the Jammu and Kashmir,” Qayoom said.
With lower courts shifted to Sanatghar, Bemina (where the elections were held) from centrally located Lal Chowk following the floods, Qayoom said that change of location does not make any difference to the KHCBA and it will continue to pursue the “just cause for resolution of the Kashmir issue.”
“Whether we are in Lal Chowk, Tengpora (where new court complex is under construction), or Bemina, our ‘tehreek’ will continue. There is no second thought about it. I want to reassure you that ‘tehreek’ runs in our blood and we will take it to the logical conclusion,” Qayoom said.
He also thanked all those who voted in his favour and assured to “live up” to their “trust reposed on us.”
Qayoom also vowed to uphold impartiality and unity of the KHCBA, saying, “I will not allow division of the Bar Association.”
Meanwhile, for the post of vice-president, incumbent Aijaz Ahmad Baidar was declared winner uncontested. This is for the 12th occasion that Baidar won election for various posts of the lawyers’ body.
Also, election to the post of general secretary, Mohammad Ashraf Bhat was re-elected, defeating Ghulam Nabi Shaheen by a margin of 82 votes. While Bhat bagged 324 votes, Shaheen secured 242 of total 570 votes polled for the post. Four votes were rejected.
For the post of joint secretary, Anwar-ul-Islam Shaheen was declared winner as there was no candidate fighting against him.
For the post of treasure, Hamid Shafi (296 votes) was declared winner against Shafat Nazir (256).