The Allahabad High Court Monday directed the Uttar Pradesh Government to make available before it the original record of the proceedings under the National Security Act (NSA) 1980 that resulted in the detention of Dr. Kafeel Khan and a further extension of the same.
The court was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by the mother of Dr. Khan, seeking the release of her son.
When the matter was taken up for hearing today, the senior advocate for the petitioner submitted that he had received a copy of the supplementary affidavit filed on behalf of the State Government only yesterday at about 1.30 pm. He, therefore, sought some time to go through the same and also to file a rejoinder, if required.
The Additional Advocate General representing the UP Government also expressed his desire to have some time to file one more additional affidavit in relation to certain facts stated by the petitioner in the rejoinder filed earlier.
A division bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh, thus, noted:
“Having considered facts of the case, we also deem it appropriate to peruse the original record of the proceedings under National Security Act, 1980 resulting into the detention of Dr. Kafeel Khan and further extension of the same”
The bench directed the matter to be listed on August 27 when the UP Government will make available the original record of the proceedings under the NSA against Dr. Kafeel Khan.
Dr. Khan has been under preventive detention in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura jail since February 13 under the National Security Act, 1980 (NSA) for allegedly being a threat to public order after his alleged inflammatory speech against the Citizenship (Amendment Act), 2019
On August 11, a three-judge bench led by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) S. A. Bobde after taking note of the matter, involving personal liberty, requested the High Court to dispose of the habeas corpus plea preferably within 15 days from the date when parties appear before the High Court.
Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate Indira Jaising, had submitted before the apex court that the detention of Dr. Khan under NSA was a counter-blast to the bail he was granted by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Aligarh on February 10 in connection with an FIR against him for alleged inflammatory speech in connection to Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
Jaising added that the State chose not to challenge the bail order but resorted to the NSA to bypass the bail order in order to keep the petitioner in jail.
On March 18, while hearing a plea challenging the detention order, the Supreme Court had transmitted the case to the Allahabad High Court forthwith.
However, despite several attempts, the case of the petitioner challenging the ‘illegal’ and ‘arbitrary’ detention of her son was not even registered throughout the month of April by the registry of the High Court.
Further, the plea had alleged that the case was registered by the High Court only in May. Even thereafter despite the filing of several urgency applications, the matter could not be listed for final hearing for one reason or another.
This article was first published in The Leaflet.