The principal sessions judge of Srinagar has expressed his inability to hear a bail application, alleging that he had received a call from the secretary of a Jammu and Kashmir High Court judge about the order to be passed in the case, Bar and Bench reported on Thursday.

In an order passed on December 7, Principal Sessions Judge Abdul Rashid Malik said he had been instructed to not grant bail. The judge said he received a call from Tariq Ahmad Mota, Secretary to Justice Javid Iqbal Wani of the Srinagar High Court, on Monday at 9.51 am.

“I have been directed by Hon’ble Mr Justice Javid Iqbal Wani to convey you to make sure that no bail is granted to Sheikh Salman [the accused],” Malik mentioned in his order, detailing the content of the purported call. “If there is any anticipatory bail pending, the direction is the same.”

Malik recused himself from hearing the bail application and forwarded it to the judicial registrar of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, with a request to place it before the chief justice

The matter was heard by the registrar of the High Court, who directed the second district and sessions judge to hear the bail application, PTI reported, quoting a state law officer. The accused was granted bail in the matter on Wednesday.