Members of high court bar association and Jammu and Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries today met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and raised the issues of abrogation of Article 35 A, smooth cross border trade and deportation of illegally settled foreign nationals. They, however, welcomed the raids by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to expose the sources of terror funding. A six-member CCI delegation, led by president Rakesh Gupta, was the first to meet Singh at the convention centre here and submitted a memorandum highlighting various issues and demands. The CCI criticised the Centre for its alleged failure to deport Rohingyas from Jammu.
In a memorandum, the CCI describing Rohingyas as a "security threat" and demanded their deportation at the earliest. It supported the cross-LoC trade and suggested measures including proper audit of businessmen and frequent transfer of officials posted at crossing points to ensure that the this confidence building measure between India and Pakistan was not maligned. "The Chamber believes that our nation's security is more important than any other issue, hence proper and foolproof mechanism needs to be put in place so that neither hawala nor drugs or arms cross these transit points at (Salamabad in Kashmir and Chanka-da-bagh in Jammu)," it said. The CCI also demanded an industrial package for the state considering the militancy, remote location and bordering with China and Pakistan. On the Goods and Service Tax, the CCI demanded that there should be no penalties in any form for discrepancies whatsoever in filling of GST returns till the closing of current financial year. It also demanded simplification of the reverse charge mechanism, claiming that it has created "utter confusion". "We request that the GST returns should be on quarterly basis and the payment on monthly basis," the memorandum said. A five-member delegation of Jammu-chapter of the High Court Bar Association (HCBA) led by president B S Slathia also met the Home minister and demanded abrogation of Article 35A of the Constitution. "Article 35A is against the very spirit of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution of 1950 and the preamble of Jammu and Kashmir Constitution of 1957 and a total negation of Articles 14 and 19 of the Indian Constitution. "Article 35A deprives all Indians living outside the state of their right to exercise any right in Jammu and Kashmir, thus creating a situation in which they are considered a persona non grata in Jammu and Kashmir, " the HCBA said. It said that they were of the opinion that Article 35A was a Constitutional aberration and made part of Indian Constitution through a Presidential Order on May 14, 1954 bypassing the Parliament and without invoking Article 368 of the Constitution. Appreciating the role being played by NIA in fearlessly carrying out probe in order to expose the sources of terror funding being used by very few to carry out the "anti national" activities in Kashmir, the HCBA said it believes that the culprits would be brought to book but stressed that "no harassment or victimisation" of innocent persons. Supporting the demand for immediate deportation of Rohingyas and Bangladeshi immigrants, the bar said the illegal settlement of foreigners has threatened the "soul and identity" of the people of Jammu province. Chairman JK Against Corruption, Vikram Singh Bhadwal , demanded strengthening of institution of State Information Commission (RTI), State Accountability Commission, State Vigilance Commission, State Human Rights Commission and other such institutions to deal with corruption in the state.
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