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KCSDS questions Mehta’s Art 35-A ‘discriminatory remark’

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Srinagar, Sep 2: The Kashmir Centre for Social and Developmental Studies (KCSDS) Sunday said they were concerned about the abrupt replacement of noted legal luminary Fali Nariman with a “dubious character”, Tushar Mehta to defend Article 35A on behalf of the state government.

In a statement, KCSDS said that Tushar, the Additional Solicitor General, who represented J&K in Article 35-A case in SC recently, has “against all legal principles of the profession tried to plead the case of one of the petitioners by remarking that 35-A’ promotes gender discrimination’ on the 31st August in the Supreme Court.”

 

“He has thus tried to be the devil’s advocate against not only all legal proprieties but flied in the face of law and evidence to the contrary. This he does when the case is not even discussed which speaks volumes of what he is upto. State govt has to answer these pertinent questions as to who appointed him and whether the law department was consulted in engaging a person who is known for proximity to RSS,” the statement said.

The KCSDS, in the statement, asked the erstwhile PDP-BJP government “whether it was done when it was in power.”

“He (Tushar) is surrounded by many controversies including the one in having colluded with the accused in Gujarat riots as additional advocate general of Gujarat and leaking out documents that would weaken the case against them,” the statement read.

KCSDS further said that in 2011, a memorandum was also submitted by All-India Secular Forum to then Gujarat Governor accusing Mehta of helping riot accused and seeking his immediate resignation.

“Similarly he was appointed as special public prosecutor for 2G cases by the present Govt, in clear violation of   Supreme Court’s instructions to appoint another Sr. Advocate, Anand Grover,” it said.

KCSDS alleged that Tushar was “abysmally ignorant” about the fact  that in 2002 Dr SushilaSawhney versus  J&K govt, the full bench of the high court has given a landmark verdict  that a woman does not  lose permanent residency status after marrying a non-state subject.

“Since it has not been challenged by the state in the Supreme Court, the judgment has become a law. Secondly the govt has also constituted a committee to look into the rights of children of such women who marry outside the state,” the statement said.

“There is a strong case to replace Tushar Mehta with an impartial advocate whose track record of probity and integrity is beyond any question. KCSDS forewarns the govt to change him before the next hearing otherwise it will be disastrous in its implications for the people of the state,” the statement read.