All Central laws coming to J&K and Ladakh: says MoS in Jammu

Arun Sharma
Maintaining that demands of the protesting lawyers are not justified, Jitendra Singh said, "...All of us will have to swallow a bitter pill.”

Union Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh on Saturday ruled out withdrawal of the decision on transfer of power of registration of documents from judicial to revenue officers and said that once the government succumbs to such demands, “there is no end to it’’.

Singh’s statement comes in the wake of a month-long indefinite strike by lawyers in protest against the UT administration’s decision to transfer power to register documents from judicial to revenue officials.

EXPLAINED

Why minister spoke on central laws

The ongoing agitation, spearheaded by J&K High Court Bar Association president Abhinav Sharma, who is also a BJP spokesperson in the UT, has paralysed normal working in the HC and subordinate courts. Lawyers have locked entrances to subordinate courts to prevent litigants from appearing.

This came following removal of special provisions for the erstwhile state under Article 370 and its bifurcation into the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Addressing a conference on Jal Shakti and Disaster Management Practices here, Singh said. “Koi is galat fehmi mein na rahey ki woh kanoon abhi nahi laga. Sab aa rahey hein (no one should be any any misconception that some laws are not being applied here – all of them are coming). There are 854 Central laws, and we have less than 200 here.... We have no choice but to cooperate; we will have to sacrifice.”

He added, “Let me also tell you, whether you cooperate or not, it is going to happen.”

In fact, the MoS said, “we should have the spirit to come forward and say that we are ready to sacrifice our small interests for the bigger cause and the bigger purpose which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid before us.”

``Let each one of us understand once and for all, and let each one of us keep reminding ourselves and those around us: Article 370 is gone forever and is not going to come back,’’ he said. ``Even the prophets of doom who were talking of volcanoes erupting and earthquakes occurring (in J&K in the aftermath of abrogation of special status) have been silenced.”

The ongoing agitation, spearheaded by Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association president Abhinav Sharma, who is also a BJP spokesperson in the UT, has paralysed normal working in the High Court and subordinate courts. Lawyers have locked entrances to subordinate courts to prevent litigants from appearing in person.

Maintaining that demands of the protesting lawyers are not justified, Singh said, “...Koi aa kar ke yeh kehta hai ki 370 hat gaya par Hindustan mein jo dastawej register karney ka kanoon hai wo yahan par mat lagaieye kyunki humara bicholiapan chalta rahey (some people are saying Article 370 is gone but do not bring the law on registration of documents so that we continue to act as middlemen in the registration process). That is not going to happen. Let us be very clear about it: all of us will have to swallow a bitter pill,’’ he said.

Singh said: ``It has been hurting...that you have strange kind of fringe elements raising voices, representing vested interests, (and saying that) that Article 370 is gone but do not apply tax laws here that are applicable elsewhere the country, so that our business keeps running,’’ Singh said. “Some others say Article 370 has gone but do not apply the Central law on mining (in J&K), so that our business of illegal mining keeps going.”

The minister also said, “What right do we have to deprive the common people of J&K and Ladakh of these citizen-friendly laws so that our shops and illegal mining keep running? As patriotic and right-thinking people we should not demand all this. As responsible citizens, it is our responsibility to cooperate with the government and the Lt Governor.