Reveal steps taken for appointment of counsels for UT Ladakh: HC

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Nov 20: High Court has directed the Chief Secretary and Advisor of the Union Territory of Ladakh to reveal the steps taken for the appointment of counsels who would be conducting the cases on behalf of UT.
This significant order has been passed by Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey in a petition filed by Hasina Bano and others in which the relief claimed is essentially against Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh through its Chief Executive Officer and Principal, Government Polytechnic College, Leh.
During the course of hearing, the Government counsel Rais-ud-Din Ganai submitted that he does not know as to what is the arrangement made for appearance of the counsels in respect of cases pertaining to the Union Territory Ladakh on application of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019.
He further submitted that in terms of the scheme of the Act, all the affairs of the Union Territory Ladakh are now regulated under the control of Lieutenant Governor with the aid and advice of the Advisor(s).
High Court observed, “in terms of Section 3 of the Act, the Union Territory of Ladakh has come into being and the “Kargil and Leh districts cease to form part of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir”, adding “Section 4 of the Act deals with formation of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with Legislature comprising the territories of the State of Jammu and Kashmir other than those specified in Section 3 of the Act”.
“The other aspect of the matter is that after the application of the Act, the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir is maintained as the common High Court for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh in terms of Section 75 of the Act”, Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said, adding “therefore, the cases pertaining to the Union Territory of Ladakh can be heard and adjudicated by this court even on application of the Act but the difficulty in adjudicating upon such cases is now the representation of the Union Territory Ladakh as by now no appointment is made in this behalf as to how the cases pertaining to the Union Territory Ladakh would be conducted on behalf of the Government”.
Justice Magrey further observed, “the difficulty is faced by this court in number of cases, therefore, with a view that the problem is addressed and the progress of the cases is not hampered further on this count, the Chief Secretary/ Advisor of the Union Territory Ladakh, shall apprise the court about the steps taken for appointment of counsels who would be conducting the cases on behalf of Union Territory Ladakh before this court”.