‘Nothing to hide’: Mian Qayoom to appear before NIA in Delhi despite age bar 

Srinagar: Kashmir High Court Bar Association President Mian Qayoom has decided to appear before National Investigation Agency in New Delhi despite the fact that the NIA was supposed to quiz him here given that he is more than 65 years of age.

Section 160 CrPC, under which summon has been issued to him, provides that no male person  above the age of ‘sixty-five years’ shall be required to attend at any place other than the place in which such male person resides.

“While law demands NIA investigating officer to question him in Srinagar because he is more than 67 years of age, Mian Qayoom decided to appear before the NIA in New Delhi because he is an open book and has nothing to hide,” a lawyer close to Qayoom told GNS.

In a statement issued here, Kashmir High Court Bar Association said that calling Qayoom, as a witness to Delhi, appears to be a part of conspiracy. “Otherwise there was no reason as to why he could not be questioned or his statement recorded at Srinagar. It is to humiliate respectable people and to send negative signal against them in society.”

The Bar Association has already clarified that Qayoom has inherited a house at Bulbul Bagh, Barzulla Srinagar from his father and has also constructed a house on proprietary land after obtaining due permission from the Municipal authorities, besides a flat at Delhi. He has no property in Jammu or at Hyderpora, Peerbagh, Zakura, Lal Bazar, Lasjan Pantha Chowk or a shopping complex at any unknown place as alleged by a News channel. “It appears that India Today has maliciously published the news to malign and character assassinate the Bar President as such the Bar Association has decided to institute appropriate legal proceedings against the news channel very soon,” a spokesman of the Bar Association said in a statement issued here.

He also said that it has come as a surprise to people of the state, in particular the legal fraternity, that M. A. Qayoom has been summoned as a witness in FIR RC-10 registered by NIA. “We believe that real intension of calling him as a witness in the case is to prevent him from, pleading case before Supreme Court of India in ‘Pellet Gun Case’; preparing case against challenge to Article 35-A of the constitution, pending before Apex Court, pleading the cases of detainees before High Court of Jammu and Kashmir, in particular Asiya Andrabi and others; and performing various activities relating to resolution of Kashmir dispute; to say only a few,” the spokesman said, adding, “We see no basis for calling him as a witness, when he has nothing to do with the allegations involved in FIR RC-10 nor is he acquainted with any circumstance of the case or investigation.”

The lawyers body also strongly condemns the “method and manner, in which NIA is conducting the investigation.”

“The Bar Association also puts it on record that should M. A. Qayoom be not treated with respect and or be dealt with in contravention of law, the Bar Association will institute legal proceedings against NIA before the J&K High Court,” the spokesman said, adding, “We have reason to say that for quite sometime, well designed plan and conspiracy has been conceived to involve all persons who actively are seeking resolution of Kashmir dispute in accordance with wishes of the people.” Registration of case followed by arrested, harassment of relatives of political leaders, public men, negative publicity intended to downgrade credibility, are all outcome of this conspiracy, it said. (GNS)

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