Around month and half long standoff between administration and lawyers of Jammu Bar is finally ended with assurance coming from people sitting at the helm of affairs of Jammu and Kashmir UT that the demands of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association of Jammu (JKHCBAJ) will be considered and sincere efforts will be made to address the same on priority. Earlier on Friday, the JKHCBAJ called off its 43-day long strike and announced that it will resume work from December 18, a move which will be of utmost importance for the litigants of the region who were suffering since November 1, 2019, when the lawyers fraternity decided to go on flash strike against government’s move on divesting the powers of registering the documents from judicial magistrates and giving the same to revenue department as is the case of other Union Territories, thus annoying immensely the advocates fraternity, which then took the extreme step of boycotting courts. The issue took an ugly turn with situation escalating as members of other bar associations and certain political and social outfits coming in support of lawyers and prolonging the suspension of work in different courts.
Reportedly, the calling off of the strike has come a day after the Jammu and Kashmir High Court issued notices to four advocates spearheading the stir, seeking their stand on why the contempt of court proceedings be not launched against them. The union territory administration had also appealed to the agitating lawyers to call off the protest in the interest of people.
The decision of ending this face-off which is the most apt move has been taken by the members of JKHCBAJ in its general house meeting. The step will go a long way in mitigating the problems of litigants who have been suffering on account of this strike as is common saying that justice delayed is justice denied.
As per administration’s stand the authority of the registration is vested upon revenue officers in the union territory in line with the practice in the rest of the country under the Central Registration Act, 1908. The magnanimity shown by lawyers is praiseworthy as suspension of court has deleterious effect on major chunk of population and is not in the interest of anyone. Whether the demands of lawyers will be considered for early resolution or the same will be shelved for putting things to back burner is a point to ponder for the time being but whatever will be the outcome, there is only power which can tell the truth and that power is time. Till then only speculations can be made to assess the situation.