HC quashes PSA detention of 3 persons

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Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday quashed detention of three persons— one from Shopian and two from Kulgam— who had been booked under Public Safety Act last year.

A bench of Justice Sanjeev Kumar while quashing detention of Raashid Ahmad Shah, Majid Ali Matto and Amir Hussain Bhat directed the
authorities to release them forthwith if they are not required in connection with other cases.

Shah who was booked by virtue of an order dated 10.08.2019 passed by the District Magistrate Shopian against him had challenged the same through his counsel Nazish-ul-Haq. Matto who was booked on August 7 last year had challenged the detention through advocate Wajid Haseeb while Hussain who was detained on July 23 last year had questioned his detention through advocate M A Makroo.

The three had challenged their PSA detentions in separate habeas corpus petitions before the Court.

While quashing detention of Shah, the Court ruled that the detention order was not sustainable in the eye of law.

The Court held that admittedly on the date the detention was ordered, the detenu was already in jail and was involved in as many as three FIRs, two were registered in 2018 and one in 2019.

The Court also pointed out that it was not disputed that the detenue had not applied for bail nor was there any likelihood of the bail being granted.

The detaining authority, the court said, had though shown its awareness that the detenue was under “custody of the State” in connection with the commission of substantive offences, yet decided to place him under preventive detention by invoking Public Safety Act.

“It was thus incumbent upon the detaining authority to disclose the compelling reasons for resorting to such action,” the court said.

“If the idea of issuing the detention order was to prevent the detenue from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State, that objective stood already achieved with the arrest of detenue in connection with commission of substantive offences for which three different FIRs were registered in the year 2018/2019,” the court said.

In these circumstances, the detaining authority, the court said, could not have absolved itself of the responsibility to, at least, indicate the compelling circumstances for taking such decision.

“In that view of the matter, the detention of the detenue, when he was already in police custody, cannot be said to have been made because of any undisclosed compelling reasons and, therefore, cannot be justified in view of the law laid down by the Supreme Court in Surya Prakash Sharma v. State of U. P. and others”.