Jammu, August 03 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the Jammu lawyers have opposed the decision of the Jammu Bar Association to suspend basic membership of two prominent lawyers, Advocate A V Gupta and former Advocate S C Gupta, Advocate Subash Chander Gupta, after they expressed their views in favour of the retention of Article 35-A of the Indian Constitution.

Chairing a meeting in Jammu, senior Advocate Jameel Qazmi said that they were ready to resign from the membership en-masse if Jammu Bar Association did not stop forcing a political agenda on other Bar members which is unconstitutional. The Jammu Bar should revoke the suspension of the two noted lawyers immediately otherwise the lawyers will come on roads, he added.

Advocate Jameel Qazmi said that it was necessary to express solidarity with the senior lawyers who expressed their personal views in favour of Article 35-A. He termed the Jammu Bar’s decision as politically motivated.

The meeting resolved that in case the suspension of the two lawyers was not recalled then future course of action would be chalked out including en-masse resignation from the Bar membership.

Speaking on the occasion, Advocate Pawan Kundal lambasted the decision of the Bar and opined as to whether the lawyers’ body has the mandate to regulate the freedom of speech and expression of its members and whether such type of conditions can be imposed on the members of legal fraternity.

Advocate Ashok Basotra vociferously urged for en-masse resignation in case the arbitrary suspension of the two senior advocates is not recalled. A young lawyer, Supriya Singh Chouhan, said that snatching of fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression of members of legal fraternity was unacceptable.

Advocate Anwar Chowdhary demanded no confidence motion against the office bearers of Jammu Bar for such an unconstitutional decision of suspending two senior members of the Bar Association.

Subash Chander Gupta and A V Gupta addressing a meeting in Jammu on Tuesday called for retention of Article 35-A. Article 35-A guarantees special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir and prohibits non-state subjects from acquiring land in the territory. Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party’s communal government in New Delhi is trying to repeal this constitutional provision to change the demographic composition of Kashmir by paving way for settling Indian citizens in the territory.

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