Zahoor Ahmed Bhat, a political science teacher in Jammu and Kashmir, has been reinstated to his position after a period of suspension and scrutiny. His suspension came in the wake of his appearance before the Supreme Court in a case related to Article 370, a contentious issue in the region. The Jammu and Kashmir administration recently issued an order to revoke his suspension and directed him to resume his duties at his original place of posting.
This episode unfolded when Zahoor Ahmed Bhat, a political science teacher was suspended on August 25, just a day after he appeared before the Supreme Court in connection with the Article 370 case. His suspension was based on allegations that he had violated the union territory’s code of conduct for government employees. Consequently, he was removed from his place of posting in Srinagar and attached to the office of Director School Education in Jammu, pending an inquiry into his conduct, which was to be conducted by a senior officer.
However, the Supreme Court itself took note of Bhat’s suspension and expressed concern during the hearings related to the Article 370 case. The Chief Justice of India, D Y Chandrachud, leading a bench, remarked on the matter, stating, “This should not happen. Someone arguing before this court gets suspended…” Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Rajeev Dhavan, who were representing Bhat, brought this issue to the attention of the Constitution Bench during the proceedings.
The Supreme Court is currently in the process of hearing a series of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370, a historic constitutional provision that granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. In August 2019, the central government revoked Article 370 and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.
The reinstatement of Zahoor Ahmed Bhat serves as a notable development within the broader context of government employee conduct in Jammu and Kashmir. It underscores the complex intersection of legal proceedings and administrative actions in a region where political and constitutional matters continue to be a subject of intense debate and scrutiny.