HC notice to state govt after petition challenges PSA on Mushtaq Veeri

HC notice to state govt after petition challenges PSA on Mushtaq Veeri
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Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Monday issued notice to J&K Government asking it to file a counter affidavit to a petition challenging the slapping of Public Safety Act (PSA) on religious scholar Mushtaq Ahmed Veeri. The petition was moved by the father of Veeri through his counsel Shafkat Nazir, who submitted before the court that PSA had been slapped on Mushtaq without following the law laid down. Justice Rashid Ali Dar issued notice to the State of J&K through Principal Secretary, Home Department, the District Magistrate Anantnag, the Senior Superintendent of Police Anantnag, and the Superintendent of District Jail Kuthua (in Jammu). Advocate Nazir pleaded that the order of detention under PSA passed by the District Magistrate Anantnag bearing No. 81/DMA/PSA/ DET/2018 DATED 12.03.2019 and the order passed by the J&K Govt (order of approval) be overturned immediately as the detaining authority had failed to show any concrete grounds against the detainee. It was submitted that the detainee had been implicated in FIR No. 17/2016, 228/2017 and 168/2018 of Police Station Bijbehara but was later booked under PSA by the District Magistrate Anantnag. The counsel submitted that the order of detention was passed at the behest and instance of SSP Anantnag and the subjective satisfaction which is sine qua non for passing of the order was drawn by the SSP and not by the DC Anantnag, which is not permissible under law. “The grounds are vague, irrelevant and nonexistent in the eyes of law,” the counsel submitted. It was further stated before the court that the allegations were bereft of specific details. “Even the date, month and year have not been mentioned in the grounds of detention,” the counsel said. It was submitted through the petition that the detaining authority had acted as a rubber stamp of the SSP and had reproduced the contents of the dossier in the grounds of detention without applying his mind to the allegations levelled against the detainee and the necessity of passing the order of detention. The detainee had not been informed about the result of the investigation, if any, conducted in criminal cases registered against him in the years 2016 and 2017. The counsel submitted that surprisingly, the date of arrest in FIR No. 168/2018 of P/s Bijbehara had not been reflected in the grounds of detention. “On such basis, no prudent and reasonable man can make an effective and purposeful representation against his detention. It is submitted that the grounds of detention are apparently baseless and are bereft of specific details. On this count also the order of detention deserves to be quashed,” the counsel argued. It was further said through the petition that grounds of detention did not disclose any imminent threat to the health, wealth and welfare of society or for that matter to the public order. “The allegations levelled against the detainee are purely criminal in nature and the detaining authority has failed to show and demonstrate as to why and how the ordinary law of the land is not sufficient to deal and deter the detainee from indulging in the activities which are criminal in nature,” the counsel said. The counsel also informed the court that the detainee is a religious preacher and the organisation to which he belongs is not a banned organization. “The detainee has nothing to do with the alleged illegal activities. The detainee has been implicated in false criminal cases for his religious ideology.
It is stated that the detainee has never indulged in any unlawful activity as defined under the provisions of ULA (P) Act. The detainee has been falsely implicated in the criminal cases and wrongly booked under the provisions of J&KPSA,” the counsel submitted.