HC quashes PSA detention of Shopian man

HC quashes PSA detention of Shopian man
Representational ImageFile/ GK

Srinagar: The High Court Monday quashed the detention of a man from south Kashmir’s Shopian district who had been booked under the Public Safety Act in April this year.

Quashing the detention of one Junaid Ahmad Dar, a bench of Justice Javed Iqbal Wani directed the government to release the detainee from preventive custody forthwith unless he was required in any other case.

In a habeas corpus petition, Dar had challenged the detention order passed by the District Magistrate Shopian against him on 6 April this year.

“The order of detention would manifestly reveal that the detaining authority has not drawn any satisfaction as per the mandate laid down by the Apex Court,” the court said.

Observing that the order of detention had been passed based on dossier placed before the detaining authority by the Senior Superintendent of Police, Shopian, the court said: “The grounds of detention, when looked into, give reference of two FIRs to have been registered against the detainee. The involvement of the detainee in the cases appears to have weighed with the detaining authority while making the detention order.”

The court said that the reply filed by respondents (authorities) does not make a whisper as to furnishing of copies of FIRs, copies of the statement of witnesses recorded during the investigation, copy of the dossier, and other connected material collected during the investigation to the detainee to enable him to make an effective representation against the detention order.

The court observed that a detainee cannot be expected to make a meaningful exercise of his constitutional and statutory rights guaranteed under Article 22 (5) of the Constitution of India and Section 13 of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978, unless and until the material on which the detention order was based, was supplied to him.

The court underscored that it was only after the detainee had all such material available that he could make an effort to convince the detaining authority and thereafter the government that their apprehensions vis-à-vis his activities were baseless and misplaced.

“Failure on the part of the detaining authority to supply material relied at the time of making the detention order to (detain) render the detention order illegal and not sustainable upon,” the court said.

Greater Kashmir