Taking serious note of the 40-day long indefinite strike by lawyers here in protest against the transfer of power of document registration from judicial to revenue officers, Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday issued notices against four practicing lawyers asking why criminal contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated by them.
Notices were sent to S Baldev Singh, Nitin Bakshi, Azhar Usman Khan and Mahinder Singh Palli.
The change in the system of registration of documents came after the Central Registration Act was implemented after the Centre revoked the state’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.
On Tuesday, the UT administration offered lawyers to station revenue officers authorised to register documents in a building near the court’s complex, but the agitating lawyers did not agree.
Ordering the court registry to list the case on January 29, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Gitta Mittal and Justice Rajesh Bindal on Thursday also ordered that notices be issued to these lawyers asking them why action should not be initiated against them under rules 10, 11 of the Jammu and Kashmir Advocates (Regulation of Practice in the High Court and Subordinate Courts) Rules, 2003, as well as for acts which have a penalty under the the IPC.
Directing these advocates to file a response within two weeks of the receipt of the notices, the bench observed that the response shall be accompanied by a date-wise list of cases where these lawyers were engaged by litigants between November 1, 2019 and Wednesday and the courts where these cases were listed, the bench ordered.
Through another order, the bench issued notices to the Government of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Government of India through their respective Home Secretaries to urgently consider deployment of Central Armed Police Force to provide security to both the wings of the high court as well as the district courts in J&K and Ladakh.