Srinagar: Senior advocate and BJP MP Ram Jethmalani demanded a whopping Rs 70 lakhs to contest state’s government’s appeal in Supreme Court against J&K high court order directing registration of an FIR against a DySP for killing a civilian at Tengpora here on July 10, Kashmir High Court Bar Association said on Sunday.
“Not only Indian government and its Armed Forces in Kashmir but some top-most Supreme Court, Senior Advocates, are also terribly biased, extremely prejudiced and highly indiscreet and inimical towards the people of Kashmir and know the art of going back on their promises well, as has been learnt by them from their leaders,” a spokesman of the Bar Association said.
Tengpora youth’s killing
This fact came to the fore again when two Srinagar based Advocates Syed Musaib and Bilal Ahmad Khan, who had been requested by Abdul Rehman Dar, the father of slain youth Shabir Ahmad Dar of Tengpora to represent him before the Supreme Court on 12 August in the SLP filed by the State against the order of the High Court.
Musaib and Bilal on their return apprised the Bar about what happened in the Supreme Court, before and after hearing of the case on August 12.
On August 11, they alongwith Aijaz Ahmad Khan, a civilian accompanying them, met Prashant Bhushan Senior Advocate of Supreme Court, who one day before had assured them that he is ready to appear in the case, without charging any fee, but on seeing them he expressed his inability to appear in the case for personal reasons, the spokesman said.
He however, advised them to meet another Senior Advocate Kamni Jaswal, who he said, will appear in the case. They said that when they met Kamni Jaswal, she readily agreed to appear in the case, but as through her, they came to know that the State has engaged Attorney General of India to represent them in the case, therefore, they decided to approach Ram Jethmalani, a well reputed Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court to appear in the case, as he, through Nasir Ahmad Shalla, a lawyer practicing at Srinagar, had shown his inclination to appear in the case.
They said that they accordingly went to the office of Ram Jeth Malani and he promised to appear in the case next day and told them to come at 2:00 p.m. for further discussion, as he had to go to Rajya Sabha.
“They stated that at about 2:00 p.m. Advocate Bilal Ahmad and Aijaz Ahmad Khan boarded an Auto Rickshaw to go to the office of Ram Jethmalani, but on the way they received a call from one Pawan Kumar an Assistant of Ram Jeth Malani, asking them to bring Rs. 70.00 lacs with them, so as to pay the same to Ram Jeth Malani as his fee. They said that on enquiry Pawan Kumar told them that Ram Jeth Malani will have to be paid Rs. 50.00 lacs cash as conference charges and Rs. 20.00 lacs as his fee for causing his appearance in the Supreme Court,” the spokesman said. They said that since they were not in a position to arrange or pay such a huge amount of Rs. 70.00 lacs to Ram Jethmalani, they therefore, returned to Supreme Court where they met Ramesh Misra Advocate and through him approached Kapil Sibal, another Senior Advocate, who told them that he is aware about the case and that he is ready to appear on behalf of the complainant, without charging any fee from him. “They thereafter briefed Kapil Sibal and handed over all the relevant papers to him. Next day M/s Kapil Sibal and Kamni Jaswal appeared in the case on behalf of the complainant and both of them argued the case well, without charging any fee from the complainant,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman said that Prashant Bhushan and Ram Jethmalani went back on their promise, only because the allegations in the complaint had been leveled against a Police Officer who had killed an innocent civilian and it was perhaps in their so called “National Interest” not to represent a victim of brutality before the Supreme Court.
“It hardly needs to be mentioned that Ram Jeth Malani has visited Kashmir a number of times and has met number of pro-freedom leaders and has also assured them of legal help in the Supreme Court and elsewhere, but when it came to defend a victim of brutality, he refused to appear before the apex court.”