Consider shifting of Pulwama boy from Kathua to Juvenile Home: HC

Srinagar: The J&K High Court has directed the state government to consider shifting from District Jail Kathua to Juvenile Home here of a Pulwama boy, who has been booked under Public Safety Act last month.
A bench of Justice Virender Singh passed the directions on a petition filed by the boy Waseem Ahmad Sofi through his counsel advocate Mir Shafaqat, challenging his arrest under Public Safety Act (PSA) as also police claims about his age.
The bench also sought detention records of the boy, a resident of Dangerpora Pulwama in south Kashmir, by the next date of hearing.
Besides, it also issued notice to District Magistrate Pulwama and concerned Senior Superintendent of police and directed them to file a counter affidavit within a week.
Earlier, in his arguments, advocate Mir submitted that Sofi cannot be detained under amended Public Safety Act and he can be lodged only in a Juvenile Home even if he is involved in a heinous crime.
He said that Sofi’s School leaving certificate attests his date of birth as 2 September 1998, underling he is only 15-year-old and not 23-year-old as claimed by the police.
“The grounds of detention for the petitioner are in violation to the Juvenile law and Public Safety Act as he is minor as per the relevant records,” Mir submitted, urging the court to quash the detention order and release the ‘minor’ with immediate effect.
“There should also be a judicial enquiry against District Magistrate Pulwama for illegally detaining the boy,” he said and also pleaded for directions to the respondents for compensation of Rs 10 lakh to him.

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