HC orders release of Masarat Alam

Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday directed the government to release Muslim League Chairman Masarat Alam Bhat from preventive custody forthwith if he is not required in any other case.

A division bench of Justice Saneev Kumar and Justice Rajnesh Oswal issued the direction after noticing that the detention order against Bhat has outlived its life and the writ petition has become infructuous.

Bhat had challenged a judgment of a single bench which had  dismissed his plea against his 36th preventive detention order dated November 14, 2017, issued by District Magistrate Kupwara.

The single bench while pointing out that preventive detention is devised to afford protection to society, had observed that the object was not to punish a man for having done something but to intercept before he does it and to prevent him from doing.

In his petition before the single bench Bhat had submitted that “the authorities were relentlessly passing detention orders on the grounds that run afoul of the constitution and the safeguards inbuilt in the preventive detention statute on the routine basis in blatant violation of the court orders.