Bar leader's detention under consideration, J&K admin tells SC

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The Jammu and Kashmir administration informed the Supreme Court on Thursday that the issue of High Court Bar leader Mian Abdul Qayoom’s detention was under consideration and a decision will soon be taken in the matter.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Ajay Rastogi and Aniruddha Bose was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the court need not go into the merit of the case as the competent authority will soon decide it and sought some time to take instructions on the issue.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for Qayoom, opposed the request for adjournment and said that, if required, Mehta can seek instructions within 24-hours and matter may be listed for Friday.

Dave said he is willing to argue the case on merits as the matter of Habeas Corpus (produce before court) cannot be dragged in this manner.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on July 27. On July 15, the apex court had asked the J&K administration to explain the basis for detaining Qayoom, who has challenged his detention under Public Safety Act (PSA) since August 7 last year.

The top court had asked it to take into consideration various aspects including Qayoom’s age, expiry of detention period and the COVID-19 pandemic.

On June 26, the top court had issued notice to the J-K administration and sought its reply on Qayoom’s plea challenging his detention order.

Qayoom has also sought a direction to shift him from Tihar jail here to central jail in Srinagar on medical ground.

He has challenged the May 28 order of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court rejecting his plea against his prolonged illegal detention under the PSA in jails outside the UT.

He said that he is a senior advocate with more than 40 years’ standing at the Bar and has served as President of the J&K High Court Bar Association for many terms, including from 2014 till the present day.