Jammu and Kashmir: Why is a lecturer suspended? In retaliation? Supreme Court Questions

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre’s top legal officer (AG) to speak to Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha as to why the Jammu and Kashmir education department has suspended a lecturer within two days of his appearance in court to argue against the abrogation of Article 370.

Has the lecturer been suspended for appearing before the court? The court said it looked like retaliation.

Zahoor Ahmed Bhatt, a senior political science lecturer with a law degree, appeared before a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and argued for the abrogation of Article 370.

Shortly after this, on Friday, the Education Department of Jammu and Kashmir issued an order suspending Zahoor Ahmed Bhatt with immediate effect for violating the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Service Rules, the Jammu and Kashmir Government Servants Conduct Rules and the Jammu and Kashmir Leave Rules.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who has brought the issue of suspension to the attention of the court, said the lecturer who came here and argued for 5 minutes has been suspended. He had taken two days off. On his way back it was informed that he was suspended.

The Chief Justice asked Attorney General R Venkataramani to look into the matter. Look to what happened AG. One person who appeared in this court is now suspended. Talk to the Lieutenant Governor.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the suspension was related to other matters. Kapil Sibal told the court that the suspension should have happened earlier.

Justice BR Gavai said that the action could be retaliatory, adding that if it happened because he appeared here, it would indeed be retaliatory.

Bhatt appeared before the court for 5 minutes and said that after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, it is difficult to teach political science to the children of Jammu and Kashmir. Children are now questioning whether democracy exists here. Bhatt argued before the court that the abrogation of Article 370 was against the principles of the Constitution.

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