Issue of ‘Sovereignty’: J&K Not Challenging SC Verdict

SRINAGAR: Even as the chief standing counsel of J&K at the Supreme Court was asked to put in his resignation papers by the state Law Minister, the J&K government is not going to seek a review of the apex court verdict that said Jammu and Kashmir “has no vestige of sovereignty outside the Constitution of India.”

Supreme Court lawyer Sunil Fernandes, who has been representing the state government as its chief standing counsel since September 2015, was on Monday evening told by J&K officials that he should either resign or his services would be terminated.

“I preferred the first option and tendered my resignation on February 6 evening,” said Fernandes.

Reports quoting sources close to Fernandes said that he had refused to file a review petition against the apex court verdict in spite of directions of the state law department, and the advocate general. His refusal forced the state government to seek his resignation.

However, Minister for Law Abdul Haq Khan termed his resignation as “routine”. Khan told The Tribune that Fernandes did not fit in with his “mijaz” (temperament).

“He was already on his second term. When I took over as Law Minister of the state, I have to see that lawyers around are to my liking,” Khan said.

He refused to admit that he had sought resignation of the standing counsel for his failure to defend sovereignty of J&K before the apex court. “The judgment is in our favour and when it supports the state of J&K, why should we seek its review.”

Khan said that there was no flaw in the Supreme Court judgment, thus putting all speculation to rest about J&K seeking any review of the SC judgment of December 16, 2016.

The top court while ruling that the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002, would apply also to J&K, had also snubbed the J&K High Court for asserting the state’s “sovereignty” and “sovereign powers”.

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