The prominent body of the Jammu Lawyers, known as Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association (JKHCBA), Jammu is on indefinite strike since more than 30 days now. The Lawyers of Jammu and its periphery collectively with one voice are agitating over the transfer of powers of registration of documents from the Judicial officers to the revenue officers and shifting of the High Court from its present place to Raika Bahu and during the intervening period of strike more issues like shut down of the consumer courts, matrimonial court and transferring of service matters to CAT, which yet has not been created also emerged.
WHY ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED
In order to understand the whole controversy it is important to understand the recent past events happened in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, now downgraded to Union Territory by the Central Government.
The Jammu and Kashmir which the world knows had enjoyed the special status of a State for nearly 70 years because of the Article 370 incorporated in the Constitution of India and because of this special status the Jammu and Kashmir was having its own Constitution, local civil and criminal laws and even its own Flag but after the stripping of this special status by the abrogation of article 370 by the present Modi Government and coming into force on 31st October, 2019, of the “Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir which was mainly comprising of three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, was downgraded to two Union Territories, one Jammu and Kashmir and the other Ladakh and almost all the local laws were also repealed and instead all the Central laws were made applicable to the present newly created dispensation of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh being governed by the Lieutenant Governors directly under the control of Central Government.
ORIGIN OF CONTROVERSY
We must understand now that pre 370, the Jammu and Kashmir was having its own J&K Registration Act but post 370 Central Registration Act came into existence but one thing we must bear in mind that both the acts are akin and there is no any difference in the contents of both the laws, which means that there was no necessity to transfer the powers of the registration of documents from the Judicial Magistrates to the Revenue officers but despite this the State Administrative Council (SAC) under the Chairmanship of the Former Governor Satya Pal Malik stripped the Judicial Magistrates of its powers of registration by creating a new department of registration fuming controversy in the Lawyer’s fraternity which forced them to go on indefinite strike.
The Lawyer’s fraternity is of the firm view that such act of the government of the Union Territory is not only against their professional interests but is also hitting the interest of the public at large. The Jammu Bar Association and all Bars in its periphery are demanding the reversal of this decision of the Government.
The worthy members of the Jammu Bar and its periphery are observing complete indefinite strike and work in all the courts is paralyzed and litigants are constantly in distress but despite this, the response of the Government is stubborn and if it continues the Lawyers may intensify the strike to succeed in their demands.
December 4, 2019