SRINAGAR: The J&K high court on Monday granted 10 more days to the government for responding to a petition filed by senior resistance leader Masrat Alam to challenge his latest detention order under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
As the case came for hearing before a bench of Justice Hasnain Massodi, counsel representing the government sought four weeks more for filing the reply.
Alam’s counsel, advocate Mian Qayoom, however, resisted it, convincing the court to post the case for final hearing on November 6.
The fresh detention order was invoked against Alam despite the high court’s observations that PSA has been “operated against him in an unfair, unjust and unreasonable manner”.
“Preventive detention is undemocratic and repugnant to rule of law. It violates the fundamental principle of criminal jurisprudence, which stresses on presumption of innocence of the accused till he is proved guilty in a fair and transparent trial,” Justice Hasnain Masoodi had said in his 17-page judgment quashing Alam’s previous detention, which was the latter’s about 20th in the past 25 years.
The 43-year-old Alam, who apparently is being seen by many as a successor to octogenarian Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, was released after a 53-month-long captivity on March 7.
He was rearrested on April 17, with the ruling PDP-BJP coalition, ordering his detention under PSA, apparently to calm the “anger” expressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against his release.
To discourage repeated detentions under PSA, courts have held that a second detention order can be passed only on fresh grounds. And the courts have made it clear that fresh grounds cannot mean the apprehension expressed by authorities or the police that the detainee might create trouble on his release.