LG to explain suspension of J&K teacher who challenged Article 370 in SC

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday expressed concern over the suspension of Zahoor Ahmad Bhat, a teacher from Jammu and Kashmir, who had appeared before the court and argued against the abrogation of Article 370.

The court asked Attorney General (AG) R Venkataramani, the top law officer of the country, to contact the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, and find out the reasons for the suspension.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who brought up the issue, said that the suspension was unfair and undemocratic. “This is not fair. This is not how our democracy should function”, he told the court.

The Chief Justice-led bench told the AG to look into the matter and see what can be done. “If there is something else (other grounds) it is a separate thing. AG, you please speak to the LG and see what can be done,” Chief Justice Dr Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud said.

The Solicitor General (SG), Tushar Mehta, who represented the AG, said that there could be other reasons for the suspension as Bhat had been taking leave from his teaching job to appear in court in various matters.

“We will look into it. There could be other issues than appearing here in this matter,” SG Mehta said.

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Bhat, who teaches Indian polity in J&K, was one of the petitioners who challenged the scrapping of Article 370 before the Supreme Court. He was suspended from his post soon after he argued in the court.

The Supreme Court is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories.’