The Srinagar District Administration banned the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association (JKHCBA), from conducting their 10th November elections. On 9th November, JKHCBA was asked to explicitly clarify their position on terming Kashmir as a disputed territory.
JKHCBA was asked to elaborate on its Constitution and compile required documents that include its registered papers and Article of Association to submit to the Srinagar deputy commissioner.
In its purposes, the Association’s Constitution includes “to find ways and means, take steps, for resolving the issues concerning the public at large including larger issue of peaceful settlement of Kashmir dispute; and for this purpose organise seminars, conventions, delegate members to various places within and outside India, to become members of other Associations, Bodies or Forums which share common outlook with associations.”
The Notice emphasises the requirement to elaborate on their position on the subject at hand because of it not being in consonance with the Constitution of India. The Constitution of India terms J&K as an integral part of India, dismissing its claim of being a disputed territory and shows its various conflicts with The Advocates Act of 1961. JKHCBA was directed to show documents showing various details such as the issuance dates of registration certificate, registered office, articles of association, registration validity and executive body.
The Office of the District Magistrate, Srinagar has prohibited the gathering of more than 3 persons in the District Court Complex and other areas. This applies to Court complexes, Mominabad Batmaloo and other specified places, until further instructions. Section 144 of the CrPc was imposed due to a police report on conduct of election, lack of response regarding critical issues by JKHCBA; and certain apprehensions of breach in public order. Additionally, the Police Senior Superintendent gave a detailed report that invited concerns affecting multiple aspects. Representation from J&K High Court advocates raised allegations regarding the motives of the election process.
Considering these factors, the Order stated that due to the JKHCBA’s lack of response on a subject affected the integrity and sovereignty of India, the representation on the same, the election to JKHCBA will be disallowed until justification of its position was provided.