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HomeJudiciaryModi govt appoints J&K separatist’s son-in-law as high court judge

Modi govt appoints J&K separatist’s son-in-law as high court judge

Govt had initially objected to the elevation of Javed Iqbal Wani, son-in-law of separatist Mian Abdul Qayoom, after IB report stated Qayoom had assisted J&K separatists.

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New Delhi: The central government Tuesday notified the appointment of Javed Iqbal Wani, son-in-law of prominent separatist Mian Abdul Qayoom, as a judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, a year after his name was recommended for elevation.

“In exercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Javed Iqbal Wani, to be the Judge of Common High Court for the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union territory of Ladakh with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office,” read the notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice.

ThePrint had reported on 7 June the Narendra Modi government had decided to notify Wani’s appointment as it had written to the J&K High Court’s registry, seeking details about him so that his warrant of appointment can be issued.

Wani is the son-in-law of Qayoom, who is the president of the High Court Bar Association (Srinagar wing), and has been under preventive detention since the scrapping of Article 370 in last August.

Wani has regularly represented the central government in various high-profile cases, including the Pathribal fake encounter case. He will take oath once the President of India signs his warrant.

Also read: Judge vacancies high, but Modi govt returns dozen names to SC collegium for ‘reconsideration’

Proposal to elevate was sent a year ago

The J&K High Court collegium headed by Chief Justice Gita Mittal had proposed Wani’s name in March last year along with three others — Rajnesh Oswal, Rahul Bharti and Moksha Kazmi-Khauria. 

The Centre, however, objected to his elevation after the Intelligence Bureau, in its report, pointed out that his father-in-law Qayoom had provided legal assistance to separatists, and was also close to top Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

Qayoom is also known to be among the founding members of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, led by Geelani. Law enforcement agencies have even alleged that he has links with anti-India elements operating in J&K.

Last month, the J&K High Court had upheld Qayoom’s detention under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, while asking him to make a representation before the government shunning his  “secessionist ideology” for release from Tihar jail in view of Covid-19.

Nothing adverse against Wani in IB reports

Nothing adverse was pointed out against Wani by the intelligence agencies. Yet, the government red-flagged his appointment on the ground that his elevation could be against the national interest.

As his file was sent back to the Supreme Court collegium for a reconsideration, the top court returned it to the government on 22 January this year, reiterating its decision to elevate him.

As reported earlier by ThePrint, apex court sources had claimed the intelligence reports did not have any input to establish that Wani shared his father-in-law’s ideology.

Also read: Modi govt keeps SC collegium waiting on Kashmir lawyer picked as HC judge, gives no reason


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