Property damage ordinance attack on fundamental rights: Bar Association

Srinagar: J&K High Court Bar Association Srinagar Sunday expressed serious concern over the promulgation of J&K Public Property (Prevention of Damage) (Amendment) Ordinance, where under, persons and organizations calling for shutdown, demonstrations or other forms of protest, wherein properties are damaged are liable for imprisonment and fine.
The Bar association described the ordinance as an attack on the fundamental right of speech, freedom of expression and denial of the right to take out any procession against suppression and oppression by the government and its agencies.
In a statement issued here, the Bar Association said that a demonstration is a visible manifestation of the feelings or sentiments of an individual or a group and the right to hold protest, demonstrations or call for any other form of dissent so as to express his feelings and sentiments is guaranteed both under domestic and international law viz. Universal Declarations of Human Rights, 1948, as well as under International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 and International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966, which rights are available to the human beings in recognition of their inherent dignity and disregard to what is barbarous.
The statement added that the provisions of the ordinance can be misused and any one whether, guilty or not guilty, can be booked under the ordinance at the whim and caprice of any authority and put behind the bars for any period of time.
The Bar also expressed concern over the arrest of Shahid Yousuf, the son of Syed Salah-ud-din, and the summoning of Muzamil Ahmad Khan, a B.Tech. student, who is Salah-ud-din’s grandson, to New Delhi, by NIA describing it as an act of harassment to terrorise the family.