Detention order of NRI businessman Mubeen Shah revoked permanently, J&K administration tells SC

The Jammu and Kashmir administration informed the Supreme Court on Monday that it has permanently revoked the detention order of Mubeen Shah, a Non Resident Indian businessman detained post the abrogation of provisions of Article 370.

A bench of Justices N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai allowed the withdrawal of plea challenging the order.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for J&K, said the Union Territory has permanently revoked the detention order of Shah.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by Asifa Mubeen, the wife of Mubeen Shah, seeking quashing of the August 7 order of detention along with the grounds of detention under section 8(1)(a) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978.

The counsel appearing for Asifa said they would like to withdraw the plea as it has become infructuous. The bench then allowed the plea to be withdrawn.

The J&K administration had on December 6 allowed “temporarily release” of Shah, who is based in Malaysia, after which he was released from Agra Central Jail.

The next day the administration had passed an order superseding the previous day’s order, revoking the entire detention under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act.

“In exercise of the powers conferred under section 19 (1) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978, the government hereby in supersession of government order no…dated December 6, revokes the detention order bearing no…dated August 7, 2019…,” the order said.

On October 24, the apex court had asked the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to “expeditiously” pass orders on a petition seeking directions to the authorities to produce before it some persons, including an NRI businessman, detained following the abrogation of provisions of Article 370.

The top court’s direction had come after it was informed that a brother-in-law of the petitioner was present during the hearing of the plea pending before the high court.

Counsel for Asifa Mubeen had then said that a US-based attorney had filed the petition before the high court seeking direction to the authorities to produce before the court some persons, including Mubeen Shah, who were under detention.

The petitioner Asifa Mubeen has said in her plea that her husband is currently lodged at Agra Central jail and has been “wrongfully deprived” of his liberty.

“The detenu (Shah), a senior and well respected citizen of India, a qualified doctor and leading NRI businessman based in Malaysia, with a serious medical illness, has been illegally deprived of his life and liberty for more than 40 days since August 5, 2019,” the plea has said.

The petitioner said that Shah had come to Srinagar on April 18 to attend the last rites of his sister-in-law and continued to stay there since his father-in-law was unwell and passed away in July.

The plea said since Shah was not keeping well during that period, he was admitted to a hospital in Srinagar in May.

“In the intervening night of August 4-5, 2019, the detenu (Shah) was arrested illegally without any warrant from his residence at Buchwara, Dalgate, Srinagar and taken to the local police station. At the time of the arrest, the detenu was not even informed about reasons and grounds of his arrest,” it has said.

The plea said Shah is suffering from multiple ailments, including acute renal problem which has aggravated during the course of lodgement at Agra jail.