Court upholds bail to Alam

Court upholds bail to Alam

Srinagar:  A Bandipora court on Monday rejected a review petition filed by ruling PDP-BJP government against Chief Judicial Magistrate’s February 21 order granting bail to Muslim League chairman and senior Hurriyat Conference leader Masarat Alam Bhat in a case registered against him in a police station Sumbal in 2010.
Allowing the contention by Alam’s counsel that CJM’s order was interlocutory and hence no review petition can lie against it, the Principal Sessions Judge Bandipora S K Bhagat also vacated its stay on the bail order which was extended by him from time to time hitherto.
The state had contended that the bail granted by the CJM was “untenable and bad in law” as the prosecution was not provided with an opportunity to either submit the objections or to verbally resist it.
The Mehbooba Mufti-led government had also claimed that granting bail to Alam, whom it called a “hardened criminal”, will jeopardize public peace and security.
Besides, the state had claimed that Alam was a “serious threat to sovereignty and integrity of the nation”.  Alam is currently detained at Sub-Jail Baramulla.
Alongside his counsel advocate Shoaib Ahmad, the case on behalf of Alam was pursued before the court by Reyaz Shah, legal secretary of Muslim League.
On January 19, City Munsiff, Judicial Magistrate 1st Class Srinagar, ordered the police to release Alam after granting bail to him in a case registered in police station Harwan in 2010 under section 13 lawful activities act.
On December 28 last year, the J&K high court had ordered Alam’s release “forthwith from preventive detention”.
The court had passed the orders on Alam’s plea challenging the latest of the 34th detention orders under Public Safety Act, described as lawless law by Amnesty International.
Alam was released after a 53-month-long captivity on March 7, 2015. However he was again re-arrested on 17 April 2015 and was ordered to be detained under the PSA by the ruling PDP-BJP government to calm down “anger” expressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against his release. His earlier PSA detentions were also quashed by the high court with a direction to authorities to release him. But he continues to be behind bars.   —(with inputs from Owais Farooqi)

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