The Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has issued summon notice to its three advocates after a complaint regarding committing of professional and other misconduct was filed by Secretary to the Government, Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Achal Sethi.
The three advocates are Mian Abdul Qayoom, Ghulam Nabi Thoker, and Nazir Ahmad Ronga.
Law Secretary in his complaint has accused the three advocates of being anti national, supporting Hurriyat ideology, transforming the working of High Court Bar Association into a secessionist group and supporting anti-government activities.
All three had remained presidents of High Court Bar Association and were peddling separatist ideology before abrogation.
They were jailed for months together after abrogation of Special Status.
Three separate summon notices have been issued from Secretary to Disciplinary Committee, office of the Joint Registrar (Judicial), the Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court to these advocates.
They have been directed to appear before the court on 17th December.
“You are hereby summoned to appear before this Committee on 17.12.2022 at 10:30 AM at High Court J&K and Ladakh at Srinagar in the above-titled complaint before the Hon’ble Disciplinary Committee,” reads the order.
An order copy from The High Court J&K and Ladakh signed by the High Court Judges Sanjeev Kumar, Sanjay Dhar and Mohd Akram Chowdhary reads, “A complaint, filed by Achal Sethi, Secretary to the Government, Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs for initiating disciplinary action against three Advocates, namely Mian Abdul Qayoom, Ghulam Nabi Thoker @ Shaheen and Nazir Ahmad Ronga for committing professional and other misconduct under the Advocates Act, 1961, is presented before us by the Registrar General of this Court under the orders of Lord Chief Justice.”
It further reads, “Having gone through the contents of the complaint and the material placed on record, we are of the view that prima facie, the allegations levelled by the Law Secretary against the above-named advocates constitute professional and other misconduct.”
“Notice to the above-named advocates for their reply by or before the next date of hearing,” it added.
Messers Qayoom, Ronga and Shaheen have functioned as presidents of High Court Bar association of Kashmir (HCBA) which was a general council constituent of the separatist All-Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) from 1993 till the amalgam’s split in 2003. Pursuing Hurriyat’s ideology, holding demonstrations for ‘Azadi’ and euphemistically calling for a “resolution of the Kashmir dispute under the UN resolutions or tripartite talks”, HCBA operated as an individual organisation after 2003 and did not join either of the two factions of the Hurriyat Conference. However, neither the Hurriyat nor HCBA have been banned till date. Qayoom, Ronga and Shaheen have been summoned as individual legal practitioners.
The Government’s action against the top separatist lawyers, after establishing control on all other significant platforms of so-called Azadi after the erstwhile State’s reorganisation in August 2019, is remarkable as it could virtually bury the movement of secessionism in Kashmir’s legal fraternity. While Qayoom has been a staunch supporter of the late hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Ronga has been in close proximity of the pro-Azadi Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.