Srinagar, Aug 10: Senior PDP leader and former law minister Abdul Haq Khan on Friday said that Mehbooba government engaged four top lawyers of the country considered as leading constitutional experts for contesting the case against article 35-A and paid about rupees one crore counseling fee to them.
Talking to Kashmir News Service (KNS), Abdul Haq Khan said “as law minister I engaged four top lawyers Fali S Nariman, Sheikher Naphde, Rajiv Dhavan and Gopal Subramaniam considered top constitutional experts in the country for contesting the case against the article 35-A.”
Saying that he personally led full teams of lawyers on previous hearings of the article 35-A case when Mehbooba government was in place, Haq Khan said “I personally held several conferences with the lawyers and Fali S Nariman the top constitutional expert of the country told the court that the petitions filed to challenge the article 35-A are not even maintainable before the three member bench keeping in view the clear cut directions of the constitutional benches that article 35-A can’t be repealed. As per the advice of Fali S Nariman and other three top lawyers engaged by the Mehbooba government for defending the article 35-A case only preliminary objections were filed with the plea that the petitions filed for abrogation of article 35-A be dismissed.” He further said that government can now file the final objections which have been already framed and finalised by the previous PDP-BJP Coalition government.
Claiming that article 35-A can’t be even touched, Abdul Haq Khan said “I even sent law secretary and a team of lawyers to former chief justice of India A S Anand to seek his legal opinion on the petition filed for abrogation of article 35-A.”
Disclosing that though four other petitions filed for abrogation of article 35-A have also been clubbed with the main petition filed by lesser known NGO “We The Citizens”, Haq Khan said the top court of the country is yet to issue notices to four other petitioners.”
Claiming that he as law minister got the documents related to J&K’s relations with the union of India collected from the National and State archives departments and preserved them, Haq Khan said “no power on earth can touch article 35-A, not to talk of repealing it.”
Claiming that the serious contest of the article 35-A case was a big reason for BJP’s pull out from the Mehbooba government, former law minister said “we got dismissed the petition filed against article 370 in Delhi High Court and also the petition filed to challenge the minority status of Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir in India in the Supreme Court.”
Saying that he personally met the Union Minority Minister while contesting the case against the minority status of Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir in India, senior PDP leader said “Mehbooba government defended fully all the petitions filed against article 35-A and it is now for the Governor to carry forward the legal fight against article 35-A to its logical conclusion.” (KNS)