‘Intelligence inputs’ suggest that Mian Abdul Qayoom is practising in high court without a valid degree, with support from separatists.
The law degree of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association president Mian Abdul Qayoom is under the scanner of the National Investigating Agency.
According to a source in the agency, investigators suspect that he has attached fake documents, including his LLB degree, to procure a bar licence and become a lawyer.
The source said that the NIA, which is probing the terror funding case, had received a report from intelligence agencies saying that Qayoom was a court clerk who became president of the bar association with support from separatists and militants. The report apparently questions the authenticity of his degree and suggests that it must be investigated.
It also says that Qayoom is known to be one of the founding members of the Hurriyat, has close links with separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and provides legal assistance to separatists in the Valley, the source said.
“We have information that he is practising without a valid degree, with support from the separatists. If the bar licence is procured by him on the basis of fake degrees and documents, it should stand cancelled and he should not be allowed to practise,” an investigator told ThePrint.
Qayoom was called in for questioning first on 6 September and then again on 15 September, along with all his documents, including his bar licence and degrees.
Bashir Sidiq, general secretary of the bar association, told ThePrint that Qayoom showed the investigators all his degrees to prove his credentials.
“How can they even question the degree of such a prominent lawyer who has been practising in the Valley for so many years? He has completed his LLB from Jammu University, his schooling was also from Kashmir. He is a qualified lawyer and to say that the degree is questionable would be absolutely incorrect,” he said.
“We have submitted to the investigators whatever documents they sought from us,” he added
Qayoom was arrested in 2010 for allegedly instigating protests in the Valley. Investigators suspect that he had received money from across the border in the early 1990s and owns several properties worth crores of rupees in J&K and Delhi although on paper his income is low.
So far eight Kashmiri separatist leaders and two alleged stone-pelters have been arrested in the terror funding case by the NIA.