Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Thursday directed authorities at Udhampur Jail to provide all medical facilities to imprisoned separatist leader Ashiq Hussain Faktoo, who is the husband of separatist leader Asiya Andrabi.
Direction was passed to the Jail Superintendent to take necessary steps in this regard and ensure that proper medical facilities were provided to Faktoo.
On Wednesday, the court had directed Additional Advocate General (AAG) BA Dar to seek instructions into the matter by the next day. Dar today submitted before the court that he had communicated with the Jail Superintendent Udhampur, who told him that Faktoo had been provided medical relief and had also been examined by a physician.
The petitioner’s counsel, Mian Qayoom, stated in the court that no proper medical relief was as yet provided to Faktoo who was suffering from different ailments, particularly an orthopaedic condition.
The division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Tashi Rabstan after hearing both sides directed the Superintendent of Udhampur Jail to provide all medical facilities to the applicant related to his medical condition forthwith. The bench also observed that under law, state as well as police authorities are bound to provide medical relief to any detained person.
On Wednesday, Mian Qayoom had informed the court that Faktoo was suffering from severe orthopaedic problems and was in dire need of proper medical attention, but the jail authorities had not provided him the same.
He had further informed that Faktoo, who is serving life imprisonment, needed to be treated at a government hospital or a team of doctors should visit him in jail for his treatment.
Earlier also, Advocate Mian Qayoom, representing Faktoo, had approached the court with a contempt petition against state authorities by arguing before court that Faktoo had been shifted to Udhampur Jail in violation of High Court orders as well as orders of a Jammu court designated under TADA, which in the year 2003 had directed state authorities to lodge the petitioner in Central Jail Srinagar.
He had further argued for the petitioner to be shifted back to Central Jail Srinagar forthwith and action to be initiated against the erring officials for violating court orders. He had argued that contempt proceedings be initiated against the respondents for violating the court orders dated 12 December 2003, 23 September 2004, and 30 January 2017.
Mian Qayoom had stated before the court that as per the jail manual, a life convict while serving his sentence is to be lodged in a central prison, and District Jail Udhampur being not a central prison, the lodgement of the petitioner there was contrary to the jail manual.
In 2003, Faktoo, who is the husband of Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief Asiya Andrabi, was sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of involvement in the murder of noted Kashmiri Pandit human rights activist Hriday Nath Wanchoo in 1992. He has completed 26 years, 8 months and 29 days of imprisonment as on 31 October 2017.
In jail, Faktoo completed a doctorate on ‘Status of Sunnah in Islamic Thought and Shariah’. He has been in prison since his arrest in February 1993. A Jammu court had acquitted Faktoo in 2001 but the Supreme Court overturned the verdict and sentenced him to life imprisonment.