ANI Photo | SC asks AG to talk to J-K LG over suspension of lecturer who argued against abrogation of Article 370

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Attorney General of India R Venkataramani to talk to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha over the suspension of senior lecturer Zahoor Ahmad Bhat, who was allegedly suspended by J-K authorities for arguing before the apex court against abrogation of Article 370.
At the outset of the hearing of pleas against scrapping Article 370, senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Rajeev Dhavan told a five-judge Constitution bench that Bhat was suspended from his job by the Jammu and Kashmir administration after he argued before the apex court.
“He took leave for two days. Argued before this court and went back and was suspended,” Sibal said.
Bhat had argued before the apex court on August 24 as petitioner in person in the case.
A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai and Surya Kant, asked Venkataramani to talk to the J-K Lieutenant Governor and look into the issue.
The apex court asked AG to look into the issue saying, “This should not happen. Someone arguing before this court gets suspended.”
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said after the news of Bhat’s suspension was published in a newspaper, he checked with the J-K administration and he was informed that there were various reasons behind Bhat’s suspension including that he had been regularly filing petitions before different courts.
Reacting to this, Sibal replied, “Then, he would have been suspended earlier, why now. I have the suspension order of Bhat and it says that he has argued before this court and therefore the suspension. This is not fair. This is not how democracy should function.”
The apex court said if there are other reasons then it is another matter but if a person gets suspended in close proximity of arguing before this court, then it needs to be looked into.
The J-K administration removed Bhat from his place of posting in Srinagar and was attached to the office of the Director of School Education, Jammu, while a senior official was appointed as an inquiry officer to conduct an in-depth inquiry into his conduct, according to an official order.
During the period of suspension, he shall remain attached in the office of Director of School Education, Jammu

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