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Jammu and Kashmir govt revokes suspension of lecturer who appeared before SC in Article 370 case


Political science teacher Zahoor Ahmed Bhat was reinstated on Sunday amid censure and calls for scrutiny from the Supreme Court. The Jammu and Kashmir administration has now issued a missive revoking his suspension and directed Bhat to report to his original place of posting for further duties. The curbs had been put in place on August 25 – a day after he appeared before the apex court in connection with the Article 370 case.

“Consequent on withdrawal of order number 251-JK (Edu) of August 25 (Order of suspension and subsequent attachment to Jammu), Zahoor Ahmed Bhat, senior lecturer, political science, is hereby relieved from the office today,” officials wrote in the order.

He had previously been accused of violating the union territory’s code of conduct for government employees. 

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Bhat had been removed from his place of posting in Srinagar a day after he argued a case related to the abrogation of Article 370 before the Supreme Court. He was attached to the office of Director School Education, Jammu while a senior officer was appointed as an inquiry officer to conduct an in-depth inquiry into his conduct.

Days later, the Supreme Court had asked Attorney General R Venkataramani and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to look into the issue of Bhat’s suspension.

“This should not happen. Someone arguing before this court gets suspended…” the bench had said after senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Rajeev Dhavan told the five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud about Bhat’s suspension.

The Court is currently hearing a bunch of petitions challenging the scrapping of Article 370 that granted special status to the erstwhile state. For the uninitiated, the central government abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories in August 2019.


(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 04 Sep 2023, 05:44 AM IST

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.