Srinagar: The state government on Tuesday disengaged Deputy Advocate General Parimoksh Seth – the lawyer on whose petition the High Court ordered the implementation of the ban on the sale of beef – and Additional Advocate General, Vishal Sharma, who represented the government in the case.
An official spokesman here said that that both of them have been disengaged with immediate effect. J&K Law Secretary, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, told Kashmir Reader that “there was nothing special” in showing them the door. “It is part of a general performance review and there is nothing special about it,” Mir said.
The top law officer said that “he does want to comment” when asked if this was linked to the duo being associated with the public interest litigation seeking strict implementation of a Dogra-era law.
A senior officer however confirmed that Seth and Sharma were disengaged in connection with the PIL. He said while Seth declined to withdraw the petition, Sharma had not informed the divisional commissioner Kashmir on filing the response. Both Seth and Sharma could not be contacted, while the state’s law minister Basharat Bukhari, who had recently ordered their engagement, did not respond to repeated calls from Kashmir Reader.
After taking over as the Deputy Advocate General, Seth was deputed to the Jammu wing of the High Court. However, his PIL caused embarrassment for the PDP in the Valley as its political opponents, particularly National Conference, and pro-freedom leaders and religious organisations including Jamaat-e-Islami have started blaming the party for pursuing the agenda of the RSS.
Seth is also the son of senior BJP leader Onkar Seth, who spearheaded the launch of the Jammu State Morcha with active support of the RSS, to raise the demand for a separate Jammu state.
The beef ban has snowballed into a major controversy with top Muslim bodies openly calling for defying it. It has also seemingly deepened the differences between ruling coalition partners, the PDP and BJP.