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J&K High Court Warns Govt on Delay in Release of Detenus Whose Cases Are Quashed

Such instances should not re-occur, the court told the government, citing “government officials' lapse” leading to the detenu suffering around 79 days of illegal detention.
Jammu high court

New Delhi: Citing a case where a man was not freed for over two months despite the quashing of the case against him, the High Court of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh had warned the government and asked it to release him immediately.

In the case, Muneeb Rasool Shenwari Vs R K Goyal and Others, the man was kept in detention despite the order to detain him was quashed in December 23, according to a report in Bar & Bench.

Sounding a warning to the government, Justice Rahul Bharti noted that “owing to the government officials' lapse, the detenu had suffered around 79 days of illegal detention,” said the report. The petition was filed by the mother of the man, who is in a prison in Uttar Pradesh.

The judge had summoned the district magistrate and a police official concerned and told them that such instances should not re-occur.

The court order, as quoted in Bar & Bench, said:

“This court has made known to the two offices the serious concern of this court about loss of 79 days of his life by the petitioner by remaining under preventive custody without any legal basis ... This court hopes that such like scenario does not repeat again and whenever the preventive detention of a detenu gets quashed, the Government of UT of Jammu and Kashmir acts with reasonable dispatch to ensure that the detenu person is released from the custody without unwarranted loss of time." 

In its order on December 23, 2023, the High Court had said: “The grounds of detention reveal that the detenu was apprehended in FIR no.218/2020 and thereafter, the court of Additional Sessions Judge Special NIA, Baramualla, discharged him in the said FIR, vide order dated 15.03.2023. The Detaining Authority while noticing that the detenu was apprehended in FIR No.218/2020, has not shown any awareness to the fact that the detenu was discharged in the said FIR. This vital fact was not brought to the notice of the Detaining Authority and has vitiated the detention. This reflects the total non-application of mind which has rendered the detention of the detenu unsustainable.”

However, despite the court order, the man was illegally detained for 79 days.

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