Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Friday quashed detention order under Public Safety Act against the self-styled ‘faith-healer’ Gulzar Ahmad Bhat alias Gulzar ‘Peer’.
Allowing an appeal filed by Bhat against the court’s dismissal of his petition against the detention order, a division bench of Justices Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Sanjay Kumar Gupta ordered authorities to release him “forthwith if otherwise not detained in any other case.”
“The view expressed by the single judge that the subjective satisfaction of the detaining authority had not been arrived at wrongly and that the nature and gravity of the accusation against (Bhat) was sufficient to justify his detention, in our opinion, is legally erroneous,” the division bench said and quashed the order of the detention.
“(Bhat) is directed to be released forthwith if otherwise not detained in any other case,” the court said.
Bhat who was arrested by police in May 2013 on rape charges was acquitted by a Budgam court in February 2015 with the observation that “the prosecution had failed to prove the guilt against the accused persons including peer.
The acquittal had triggered resentment in Kashmir and fearing law and order disruption, police had taken Bhat into preventive custody.
On February 23 this year, the high court, while upholding acquittal order by Sessions Court Budgam had ordered Gulzar’s release.
On August 3 single bench of the court had dismissed petition by Bhat against his PSA detention order of 8 March this year, issued by District Magistrate Budgam.