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J&K Admin withdraws suspension of Lecturer Zahoor Ahmad Bhat who appeared before SC in Article 370 case

The suspension case of Zahoor Ahmad Bhat, the Jammu and Kashmir government has rescinded the suspension order.

By Jahangir Sofi
New Update
zahoor ahmed bhat lecturer

Srinagar | In response to the Supreme Court of India's recent intervention in the suspension case of Zahoor Ahmad Bhat, the Jammu and Kashmir government has rescinded the suspension order of the senior lecturer. They have further instructed him to resume his duties at his original place of posting.

Bhat’s revocation followed after the completion of a departmental inquiry into his conduct that had been ordered by the administration.

“Consequent upon the withdrawal of order number 251-JK(Edu) dated 25-08-2023…, Sh. Zahoor Ahmed Bhat Sr. Lecturer, Pol. Science is hereby relieved from this office today on 03-09-2023 FN and is directed to report to his original place of posting for further duties,” an order, signed by personnel officer Vikas Dhar Bagati, said.

Pertinently in an order issued on Saturday, principal secretary to the government Alok Kumar said:

“Having regard to the attending circumstances and after careful deliberation, the Governor Order No. 251-JK(Edu) of 2023 dated 25.08.2023 issued under endorsement No. Edu-Lect/96/2023(7272273) dated 25.08.2023 is withdrawn forthwith. By order of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Significantly, the suspension order on 25 August followed Bhat's appearance in the Supreme Court on 23 August as a petitioner-in-person during the hearing of a petition that challenged the abrogation of Article 370. Notably, Bhat is a political science lecturer at the Government Higher Secondary School in Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar.

The order had said that Bhat was being suspended for “violations of provisions of J&K CSR, Jammu and Kashmir Government Employees (conduct) rules 1971, J&K Leave Rules”.

The suspension was brought to the court's notice by senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, who said "The academic who came here and argued for a few minutes... was suspended", after which Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud asked Attorney General R Venkata Ramani and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to look into the matter and to speak to J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha about it.

"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," the CJI Dr Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud, had said.

Who is Zahoor Ahmed Bhat?

Bhat, a resident of Chadoora village in central Kashmir’s Budgam district has a Masters in Political Science from Indira Gandhi National Open University, as well as a Masters in Economics. In 2016, he joined Kashmir University’s Law department as an ‘in-service candidate’ and completed his three-year law degree and now teaches Political Science to class 11 and 12 students.

Meanwhile, Bhat refused to comment on the issue and said he does not want to comment on it but he told Ground Report that he is “happy” on his reinstatement.

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