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Sessions judge recuses himself from a bail hearing; alleges J&K HC judge tried to influence him

In an unprecedented turn of events, a Session Judge at Srinagar recused himself from hearing a bail application after he received a call from the Secretary to a Jammu and Kashmir High Court judge, on the direction of the latter, not to grant bail to the accused.

Principal Sessions Judge Abdul Rashid Malik, in his order, recorded that he received a mobile phone call from the Secretary to Justice Javed Iqbal Wani of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court at 9.51 am on Monday when the bail plea moved by one Sheikh Salman was scheduled to be heard.

The High Court judge’s Secretary conveyed to the Sessions Judge as follows-

“I have been directed by the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Javed Iqbal Wani to convey to you to make sure that no bail is granted to Sheikh Salman. If there is any Anticipatory bail pending, the direction is the same.”

After the phone call by the High Court judge, the Sessions judge expressed his inability to hear the matter and directed that the bail application be submitted to the Registrar, Judicial of the High Court, so that the case may be placed before the High Court Chief Justice since it involved the liberty of a person.