High Court seeks response to NC's Hilal Lone's plea challenging house detention

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J&K High Court on Tuesday asked the government to respond to a plea by National conference leader Hilal Akbar Lone, challenging his house detention.

A bench of Justice Rajesh Bindal issued notice to the government on the habeas corpus petition by Lone asking it to file response by August 14.

In his plea, Lone has submitted that he was arrested by police station Sumbal on August 10 last year soon after the abrogation of Article 370, and lodged at SKICC which was converted into a sub-jail, till November 2019. He was subsequently shifted to MLA Hostel MA Road here.

While in detention, Lone was booked under Public Safety Act on February 9 this year. The detention order was subsequently revoked on June 18.

“The petitioner was not released but shifted to his residence at Tulsibagh Srinagar where the petitioner continues to be under illegal and unauthorized detention since June 18,” reads the petition.

On behalf of Lone, advocate Shuja-ul-haq and TA Lone submitted that the petitioner was a reputed advocate practicing at J&K High Court since 2001.

“He has served the erstwhile J&K state as deputy advocate general and additional advocate general” they pleaded.

They submit that father of the petitioner won Parliamentary elections for Baramulla constituency in May 2019 and detention order of the petitioner was based on the premise that he was the probable candidate of National Conference for future elections.

Underlining that Lone was associated with a recognized political party, National Conference, which was established in before 1947, the petitioner submits that right from the detention in August 2019, the respondents had assumed that he might become a threat to peace.

Lone’s counsels plead that merely because of the affiliation of the father of petitioner with National Conference the government slapped the PSA upon him and placed him under detention.

The petitioner pleaded that National Conference was the “only party which fought elections and revived the values of true democracy in the state of J&K in 1996.”

While the petitioner has sought directions to the authorities to produce him before the Court and set him free, he has also sought direction for paying Rs one crore as compensation for his illegal detention since June 18 this year.