The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association Thursday wrote an open letter to the Chief Justice of India (CJI), explaining the reasons behind strike called in Courts over the summoning of Bar President Mian Qayoom to the headquarters of National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The letter signed by the secretary of the Bar association Anwar-ul-Islam Shaheen said that they believe the notice issued to the Bar president by the NIA is more than what meets the eye.
It said that the President could have recorded the witness statement at his residence citing the provisions in the law of maximum age limit, but he volunteered to appear before the investigating agency as he has nothing to hide.
The communication said that Mian Abdul Qayoom is a known figure in the State of Jammu and Kashmir and has been in practice for last more than four decades.
The letter said that his belief, based on constitutional history of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, that Kashmir dispute is in urgent need of a solution.
“Mian Abdul Qayoom represents the voice of the people and has been fairly active in pleading their cases in Conferences, Seminars, courts etc. More recent are the cases pending before Supreme Court of India like ban on use of pellet guns. The cases of detenues who have been jailed in contravention of law for last several years are also being argued by him before the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir,” the letter said.
The letter further said that, a new policy has emerged of involving men of consequence in criminal cases so as to prevent them from urging the cause of the people.
“People are first summoned as witnesses and thereafter by sheer manipulation of the material, gathered during investigation, arrayed as accused and jailed, for years together even in some cases without trial”.
“Though as legal practitioners we are told that an accused is innocent till proved guilty, but it is also a part of malicious campaign that media is fed with false information so as to give wide publicity projecting an innocent person in dark light. The design to malign respectable people is betrayed by the false information given on social media and on the network of some paid TV channels, where false propaganda is made about the property owned and possessed by an established lawyer. This is a situation, when only notice to appear as a witness has been issued, that the media is asked to malign person to the maximum possibility so as to prejudice the mind of the public against the individual,” the open letter says.
The communication further denies any ownership by Mian Abdul Qayoom in various parts of the state as portrayed by the media.
“To keep the record straight, the association states that Mian Abdul Qayoom does not own directly, indirectly or otherwise any property in the areas of Jammu, Hyderpora, Peerbagh, Zakura, Lal Bazar, Lasjan, Pantha Chowk, shopping complex at an unknown place, as is being publicly stated on the social network,” the letter says.