Published: 28th February 2020
With Hubballi lawyers refusing to provide legal aid to jailed Kashmiri students, will Bengaluru lawyers help out?
The High Court of Karnataka expressed displeasure over the Hubballi Bar Association's resolution of not taking up the case of three Kashmiri students who had raised pro-Pakistan slogans in Hubballi
On Tuesday, the High Court of Karnataka expressed displeasure over the Hubballi Bar's resolution of refusing legal counsel to three Kashmiri students who had raised pro-Pakistan slogans in Hubballi. The bench also stated that the case will be moved to the Bengaluru Court if necessary. However, the Hubballi Bar Association (HBA) does not appear to be in the mood to budge. Ashok Anvekar, an advocate who is part of the HBA says, "We will not provide them bail or argue on behalf of them at any cost. Hubballi Bar Association follows a principle that we don't support any person who is involved in terrorism-linked activities or desh drohis or people who raise slogans in favour of our enemy nation."
Elaborating further on this point, he says, "This is not the first time that Hubballi Bar Association is doing so. We have not provided bail or argued on behalf of anyone in many such instances before. A few years ago, a doctor in Karnataka Institute of Medical Science, Hubballi was allegedly involved in terrorism-linked activities and he was arrested by the police. None of the lawyers from Hubballi argued on his behalf. In 2008, a low-intensity blast had happened in Hubballi's JMFC court and we staged a protest until the accused were booked and brought to the court. It is loud and clear that we will never speak on behalf of these kind of desh drohis."
He also added that the lawyers of the Hubballi Bar Association do not have any objection if lawyers from other districts come and assist the students in posting bail. "In the earlier cases also, lawyers from others bar associations came and argued for the accused. Even in the case of Kashmiri students, three lawyers from Bengaluru are ready to provide bail and work for them. We are not government lawyers and no one can force us to take up these cases."
What actually happened?
A few days ago, three Kashmiri students studying engineering at KLE Engineering College in Hubballi had created a video where they are saying 'Pakistan Zindabad' and posted it on social media. As soon as the video went viral, the college principal himself filed a complaint in the Gokul Road Police station. The students were arrested and they continue to remain under the judicial custody.