Srinagar: With Saudi Arabia declining to accept a detainee, who insists to be its national, the J&K high court has passed a slew of directions to authorities to find a way out of the “piquant situation.”
The detainee, Noor-ul-Haq, a resident of Mecca, has been languishing in Srinagar’s central jail for the past eight years.
Arrested in Kupwara, a trial court has already acquitted him of a criminal case (FIR 58/2008) registered against him in 2008.
Advocate Shah Ashiq, detainee’s counsel, submitted that when Haq was arrested in Kupwara, all his documents including his passport issued by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, had been seized by the police.
He said that Haq is now required to be deported to his native country but the Royal embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has informed the Indian Home ministry that he is not a Saudi national.
Assistant solicitor general of India SA Makroo referred to a status report filed by SC Solanki, under secretary to ministry of Indian affairs, stating that matter regarding Haq’s deportation to Saudi Arabia was taken up with the authorities concerned but the country’s Consular Section on 12 November 2015 informed that he is not a Saudi national.
He said another communication had been sent to the Royal Embassy in New Delhi with updated particulars on 4 January this year but to no avail.
“The detainee (Haq) cannot be kept in state custody for an indefinite period. His basic human right of liberty and freedom is infringed,” the court said.
In the first direction, the court directed the SHO Police Station Kupwara to appear before it April 7 along with Case Diaries of the case.
“The Principal District and Session Judge Kupwara to provide information after scrutinizing the record as to what were the documents, which were seized during the investigation of the case and send it along with Challan copies of the documents to the Registrar Judicial before (April 7),” the court said.
It also directed Registrar of Kashmir University to depute a professor or lecturer from varsity’s Arabic Department to the Central Jail Srinagar, who shall have interaction with the Haq to enquire from him about his native place and ask for any proof which he can provide to substantiate his nationality. The proof, court said, can include providing information about his immediate relatives.
It also directed the superintendent of Central Jail Srinagar to facilitate the meeting the professor or lecturer with Haq.