HC Rejects Plea For Masrat Alam’s Release

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 “It is not that (Masral Alam), after first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth or say tenth detention order was quashed or same number and/or more numbers of FIRs were lodged against him, repented for his activities and came on right track as a normal citizen of India.”

SRINAGAR —The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday dismissed a petition by Farooq Ahmad Bhat, uncle of Masrat Alam Bhat, seeking release of his nephew from repeated preventive detentions under Public Safety Act described as “lawless law” by Amnesty International.

A single bench of Justice Tashi Rabstan, rejected contention by Bhat’s counsel advocate Mian Qayoom that fresh PSA detention order, passed by the deputy Commissioner Kupwara, was in continuation to earlier detention orders quashed by the Court inasmuch as same set of story and facts have been made use of by detaining authority while slapping detention upon Masrat Alam, the chairman of Muslim League.

“The said submission of learned counsel is specious and hollow. The reasons being: impugned detention order has been passed by District Magistrate, Kupwara and not by respondent no.2 (District Magistrate, Srinagar); preceding two quashed detention orders had been passed by District Magistrate Baramulla,” the court said, adding, “Thus, there is no resemblance between impugned order and detention order(s) quashed immediately therebefore. Otherwise also, in the present case, it is not that (Masral Alam), after first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth or say tenth detention order was quashed or same number and/or more numbers of FIRs were lodged against him, repented for his activities and came on right track as a normal citizen of India but he, as is discernible from detention record, remained following ideology of secessionism, extremism and fanatism, which is evident from as many as 50 FIRs lodged and registered against him.”

The court said that it is not once in a blue moon but it is 50 times that 50 FIRs registered vis-à-vis “loss of life and property, which, therefore, cannot be said as an exception, but indoctrination, abetment and instigation of budding youth to enter the era of uncertainty.”

Farooq Ahmad Bhat, Alam’s uncle, had stated in the petition that since 1990, when his nephew was barely 19, he has been continuously in detention till date except for two years, between 1991 to 1993, from February 1997 to September 1997 and from May 2000 to January 2001, and thereafter intermittently.

He said Alam is not under any legally valid life sentence imposed after trial and conviction by a competent court of law, yet by imposing order after order of preventive detention on similar, if not same grounds, he is being forced to serve a virtual life sentence with no end in sight.

The same would tantamount to deprivation of liberty without following constitutional imperatives, he said.

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