Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday upheld detention under the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA) refusing to provide any relief to the Kashmir High Court Bar Association (HCBA) president Mian Abdul Qayoom.
In the 57-page judgement, the bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul dismissed the appeal that challenged Mian Qayoom's detention but allowed lawyers representing him to send a representation to the Home Department.
Seventy-year-old Mian Qayoom, who is battling multiple ailments inside the jail, was detained on August 5 last year with other prominent lawyers in the region and scores of politicians, activists, clerics and businessmen as central government moved to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories. Since then, Mian Qayoom, slapped with PSA, was first shifted to Agra jail and later transferred to Tihar jail after his health deteriorated immensely.
The petitioners had termed the grounds of Qayoom’s detention as “vague, indefinite, uncertain, and baseless as also ambiguous and lack in material particulars and essential details, which has rendered the detenue, unable to make an effective representation against his detention to appropriate authority”.
The court upheld the detention order on the basis that grounds are not stale but are proximate and that the detaining authority has applied its "mind while passing the detention order.”
The court took note of para 37 of judgment, where Advocate General submitted that secessionist ideology cannot be confined or limited to time to qualify it to be called stale or fresh or proximate, unless the person concerned declares and establishes by conduct and expression that he has shunned the ideology.
“In light of the above legally rightful and sound argument taken by the Advocate General, we leave it to the detenu to decide whether he would wish to take advantage of the stand of the Advocate General and make a representation to the concerned authorities to abide by it,” the court said.
The Court has given Mian Qayoom the option of filing a representation before the detaining authorities in which he should state he has shunned his ideology.
"As mentioned in para 37 of this judgment, while addressing his arguments on the ideology nourished and nurtured by the detenue, the learned Advocate General submitted that such ideology cannot be confined or limited to time to qualify it to be called stale or fresh or proximate, unless, of course, the person concerned declares and establishes by conduct and expression that he has shunned the ideology (emphasis supplied)," the order said.
The court disposed off the petition stating, "it is made clear that an adverse order on any such application, if made, shall not entail any legal proceedings, whatsoever".
Earlier, the court had observed “it is likely that after his release from custody that he (Qayoom) will indulge in prejudicial activities and it is necessary to detain him in order to prevent him from engaging in such activities”.
Qayoom has been accused of being actively involved “particularly during agitation of 2008 as also in the agitation at the time of the killing of terrorist Burhan Wani in 2016”. The petitioners had claimed the authorities had relied upon FIRs registered in the year 2008, 2010 for detaining Mian Qayoom for which he has already been detained.
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