SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court has quashed detention orders under Public Safety Act against Hurriyat Conference (G) leader Abdul Gani Bhat from Baramulla and a teenager, Umar Ali Sheikh from Harnaaag Anantnag.
Bhat, a businessman, is the Baramulla district president of Hurriyat Conference (G) and was earlier detained under PSA in 2011. After it was quashed, he was last year again detained under the PSA, described as “lawless law” by the global human right body, Amnesty International.
A single bench of the high court comprising Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir after perusal of the record observed that the government has not revealed what were the facts and circumstances which persuaded deputy commissioner Baramulla (detaining authority) to pass the detention order under PSA. “It is true that the past conduct and antecedents are to be taken note of but when the past conduct and antecedents have been taken note of in the earlier order of detention, same position could not be taken note of for deriving satisfaction for passing the fresh order,” the court said and referred to a number of judgments by the supreme court.
“…an order of detention cannot be made after considering the previous grounds of detention when the same had been quashed by the court, and if such previous grounds of detention are taken into consideration while forming the subjective satisfaction by the detaining authority in making a detention order, the order of detention will be vitiated,” the apex court had said judgment rendered in 1989.
“Detention is linked with liberty. Liberty of a person is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. Reasonable restriction is there but for that a strong foundation has to be laid. It is only in the backdrop of the guarantee to liberty, the J&K Public Safety Act was amended which earlier provided one year’s detention as against a person who would indulge in the activities prejudicial to the public order,” the high court said and quashed the detention order against Bhat.
“In the backdrop of the factual and legal position, only conclusion in-keeping therewith is that the order of the detention is unsustainable so are quashed,” thecourt said and directed the government to govern Bhat’s custody in accordance with the orders of the competent court having jurisdiction to deal with the criminal cases against him. Bhat was represented before the court by advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom.
Meanwhile, a bench of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar quashed the PSA detention order (10/DMA/PSA/DET/2015) against Umar Ali Sheikh of Khandi Pahari Harnag Anantnag,.
“Respondents are directed to forthwith release Umar Ali Sheikh from preventive custody,” the court said. Sheikh was represented before court by Advocate Mir Shafaqat Hussain.