Saifuddin Soz says he will sue govt for his 'unlawful house arrest'

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Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Saifuddin Soz on Thursday said he would sue the government for his “unlawful house arrest” since August 5 last year, when the Centre revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, and termed the government’s response in the Supreme Court that he was not under detention as “falsehood”.

“I take a strong exception to the government stand before the Supreme Court that I had neither been put under house arrest nor had any restrictions been imposed on me since August 5, 2019,” Soz said in a statement here.

He said the government has resorted to “falsehood as it had unlawfully incarcerated me since August 5, 2019”.

“All this while, I was not allowed to move out of my premises. I left my premises twice, when I had to visit my ailing sister and I went to Delhi on 17th September, 2019 to 21st September, 2019 and 15th December, 2019 to 21st December, 2019 for seeking medical advice. Whenever I went out of my premises since August 5, 2019, I had to obtain permission from the government,” he said.

The former Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president added that he has decided to sue the government for his “unlawful” house arrest.

“I have decided to sue the government for my unlawful house arrest since August 5, 2019. I will further sue the government for compensation for the incarceration and illegal suspension of civil liberties to which I am entitled under the Constitution,” he said.

In an affidavit before the Supreme Court, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had said Soz was “never detained nor under house arrest” and there are “no restrictions on his movement subject to security clearance”.

The government’s affidavit came in response to a petition by Soz’s wife, seeking her husband’s release from “illegal detention” and to be brought before the court.

However, Soz tried to speak to the media from behind the perimeter wall of his residence at Friend’s Enclave. But policemen posted there kept warning him against doing so and even asked the journalists to leave the place. The footage from various news channels showed a policeman forcibly taking Soz away.