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Jammu Kashmir
Lawyers observe strike against RCT Act 2012
‘RCT Act against doctrine of separation of powers’
SRINAGAR, July 20: Lawyers across the state today suspended their work, in response to a one-day strike called by High Court Bar Association (HCBA) protesting against enactment of Residential and Commercial Tenancy (RCT) Act of 2012 and its proposed applications in the state.

According to G N Shaheen, the general secretary of HCBA, the strike paralyzed functioning of both the wings of High Courts and sub ordinate courts in Jammu and Kashmir.

“We got a 100 per cent response to our strike call and no work could be undertaken by the courts across the state. The reports across the state show that the lawyers are united in their protest against amalgamation of judicial and executive powers through irrational and improper legislations which are against the spirit and mandate of the constitution of India,” Shaheen said.

He added that the lawyers and the legal experts are of the common opinion that the constitution of India envisages separation of judicial and executive powers.

“The present legislation and other similar legislations passed by the State legislature are against the spirit and essence of doctrine of separation of powers between the judiciary, legislature and the executive and such kind of legislative enactments are aimed at making judiciary a non-functional institution as judicial powers are vested in executive authorities which policy is against the basic structure of the constitution of India,” the HCBA general secretary observed.

Shaheen on behalf of the HCBA, thanked all the Bar Associations of the state for responding to the decision of the HCBA.

“The meeting of the designated team members for preparation of the writ petition to challenge the said enactment before the High Court is scheduled tomorrow at Sadder court complex Srinagar. The team members including Senior Advocate Z. A. Shah, R. A. Jan, B. A. Bashir, Z. A. Qureshi, Manzoor Ahmad Dar, Mushtaq Maqdoomi and Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan have been informed to be present tomorrow in the meeting to prepare the draft,’ Shaheen informed.

On July 12, the lawyers had observed a complete strike extended by HCBA against enactment of RCT Act. Later in a meeting it was unanimously resolved by the HCBA that the impugned Act, J&K Residential and Commercial Tenancy Act of 2012 be challenged for being quashed before the High court through the medium of a writ petition.

In the meeting it was unanimously observed that the J&K Residential and Commercial Tenancy Act of 2012 is a harsh law passed by the state legislature which is unjust, unfair and irrational as the Act repeals the Jammu and Kashmir Houses and Shops Rent Control Act 1966 and has taken away the judicial powers of the civil courts with regard to tenancy matters.

Shaheen says that the Act does not provide dispute resolution mechanism and a judicial forum for adjudication of the disputes relating to tenancy. “The Act has constitutional, political and legal implications as on one hand the jurisdiction of the civil courts with regard to tenancy disputes is taken away and on the other hand there is no appropriate judicial forum provided in the Act,” HCBA general secretary informed.

Shaheen observed that the Act has also public and professional implications as under the Act instead of Judicial officers the powers of adjudication are vested in the hands of Revenue Authorities of the State and civil court jurisdiction is barred. “It is likely to effect the public interest at large and the professional interests of the lawyers in particular, besides denial of fair, impartial and independent justice delivery mechanism,” he said.

News Updated at : Saturday, July 21, 2012
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