Also quashes PSA slapped on Jamaat member from Pulwama and another Shopian resident
Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Wednesday overturned the PSA detention order of a Shopian resident after the defence counsel pointed out that the basis of the case under which he was detained was “baseless and false.”
The order of detention slapped against Sheeraz Ahmad of district Shopian was assailed on the grounds that during investigation of FIR No. 25/2019, the sample of some burnt material was picked up from the spot and sent for forensic examination to the J&K Forensic Science Laboratory, Srinagar.
“As per the report of the Laboratory, no explosive substance was found in the said sample. It is, thus, submitted that the basis of registration of the FIR, which also became the reason for detaining the petitioner under PSA, was ultimately found to be baseless and false,” the court recorded the submission of the petitioner’s counsel.
Justice Sanjeev Kumar while detailing out the grounds of detention prepared by police recorded that on 30 March, 2019, the detenue was experimenting to prepare, illegally and unlawfully, an explosive device in his rented shop at Shallapora, Batamaloo.
“The explosive device exploded inside the shop resulting in damage to the said shop and the medicines lying there. Besides, one vehicle bearing Regd. No.JK01A-3747 which was parked outside the said shop was also damaged. For the involvement of the detenue in the aforesaid activity, he was arrested in FIR No.25/2019 under Sections 3/5 Explosive Substance Act, Sections 15 & 16 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act registered at Police Station, Shergari,” the police dossier says.
However, the detenue assailed the detention order, inter alia, on the grounds that the order of detention suffers from total non- application of mind by the Detaining Authority, in that, the detenue, who was arrested in the said FIR, had been released on bail by the Additional Sessions Judge, TADA/POTA, Srinagar on 2 August, 2019, who also mentioned that no explosive substance was found as per J&K Forensic Science Laboratory.
Justice Sanjeev Kumar while perusing the record held that the detention order was not sustainable on more than one grounds.
He pointed that the Detaining Authority in the grounds of detention had specifically mentioned that the detenue, on 8 August, 2019 was in judicial custody but there was every likelihood of his being admitted to bail.
“This speaks volume about non-application of mind by the Detaining Authority,” the court noted.
The court put on record that lack of awareness on part of the Detaining Authority and failure to consider the relevant material and that bail was granted to the detenue in FIR No 25/2019 by the competent court of jurisdiction, had vitiated the subjective satisfaction allegedly derived by the Detaining Authority for putting the detenue under preventive detention.
“Had the relevant material in the shape of bail order and report of Forensic Science Laboratory been brought to the notice of the Detaining Authority, there was every possibility of the Detaining Authority taking a different view in the matter,” Justice Kumar said.
“In view of the aforesaid, I am of the considered view that the order of detention cannot sustain in law and, therefore, deserves to be quashed. The respondents are directed to release the detenue from preventive custody forthwith, if not required in any other case,” court said and directed.
The court also quashed the detention of one Jamaat-i-Islami member from Pulwama and another Shopian resident, both of whom were slapped with the Public Safety Act (PSA).