J&K lecturer suspended soon after arguing in SC against Art 370

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Supreme Court on Monday asked the country’s top law officer, the Attorney General (AG) R Venkataramani, to talk to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, and find out the reasons for the suspension of Zahoor Ahmad Bhat, a teacher, for appearing in person before the apex court and arguing against the Abrogation of Article 370.

The issue was raised by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who termed the alleged act unfair. “This is not fair. This is not how our democracy should function”, Sibal told the Supreme Court.

To this end, the Chief Justice-led bench asked the AG to look into the matter and find out the reasons.

“If there is something else (other grounds) it is a separate thing. AG, you please speak to the LG and see what can be done,” the CJI Dr Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud, said.

The Solicitor General (SG), Tushar Mehta, on behalf of the AG, interjected and said there are other reasons as he continues to appear in court in various matters by taking leave from his teaching job.

“We will look into it. There could be other issues than appearing here in this matter,” SG Mehta told the Apex Court.

An anxious and concerned court also said such close succession to his appearing and getting suspended needed to be examined by Bhat, an Indian polity teacher in J&K who had appeared before the Supreme Court in the Article 370 batch of pleas hearing as one of the petitioners.

He had also argued in the case against the scrapping of Article 370 before the Apex Court. Surprisingly, he was later suspended from his post.

The five-judge Constitution bench is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories.

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