Govt Approves Mian Qayoom’s Conditional Release

Kashmir Bar Association president Mian Abdul Qayoom - File Pic

‘It’s Time For All Wounds To Be Healed And Look To The Future’: SC On J&K

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday said Kashmir valley has been a "troubled area" and it is time for all wounds to be healed and look to the future within the domain of our country.

Deliberating on the prevailing situation, the apex court said, "Hope is something which creates the future and we are hopeful."

These remarks came from the apex court, which accepted the stand of Jammu and Kashmir administration to release forthwith the high court bar association leader Mian Abdul Qayoom, detained under the J-K Public Safety Act with certain conditions.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration told the top court that Qayoom would be released with the conditions that he would not visit Kashmir till August 7, the day his current detention is coming to an end and would not issue any statements.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Ajay Rastogi and Aniruddha Bose asked Qayoom to also adopt a more constructive approach to the future and the Government will consider how to bring complete normalcy at the earliest .

Before we part with the matter, we must say that Kashmir has been a troubled area. Nature has been very kind to the place. It is the human race which has been unkind. It is time for all wounds to be healed and look to the future within the domain of our country, the bench said in its order.

Hope is something which creates the future and we are hopeful, the bench said, adding, We are sure that the petitioner will also adopt a more constructive approach to the future and the Government will consider how to bring complete normalcy at the earliest .

The bench disposed of the petition in view of the stand taken by the Jammu and Kashmir administration and appreciated it for the constructive approach.

The result of the aforesaid is that it is agreed that the petitioner will be released tomorrow i.e. July 30, 2020, when his family members will be able to receive him and that the petitioner will abide by the assurance/undertaking given by the learned senior counsel of the petitioner to this Court qua not travelling to the State of Jammu & Kashmir till August 7, 2020 and not issuing or making any public statements, the bench said.

It added that the stand of the administration would facilitate Qayoom to celebrate Eid, which is two days hence.

The bench said that it had asked J-K administration to consider releasing Qayoom as he is also a former President of the Kashmir Bar Association and is aged and have many medical issues.

Qayoom was detained following the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year.

During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the administration has decided to release Qayoom, nine days ahead of his current detention coming to an end on August 7 but he will have to remain in Delhi till then.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for Qayoom, suggested that it would be better, if he is released on Thursday at the time when his family members are there to receive him. Mehta agreed to the submission.

On July 27, the UT administration told the top court that it will not extend the current detention of high court bar leader beyond August 7.

The top court had then asked J-K administration to apprise it by July 29 as to why Qayoom cannot be released on bail till August 7, the day his current detention period expires with certain conditions.

We can release him on bail with some conditions like he would not visit Jammu and Kashmir and he will not make any statements, the top court had said.

On July 23, the J-K administration has informed the top court that the issue of Qayoom's detention was under consideration and a decision will soon be taken in the matter.

It had said that the court need not go into the merit of the case as the competent authority will soon decide it and sought some time to take instructions on the issue.

On July 15, the top court had asked the J-K administration to explain the basis for detaining Qayoom who has challenged his detention under the (PSA) since August 7 last year.

The top court had asked it to take into consideration various aspects including Qayoom's age, expiry of detention period and the COVID-19 pandemic.

On June 26, the top court had issued notice to the J-K administration and sought its reply on Qayoom's plea challenging his detention order.

Qayoom has also sought a direction to shift him from Tihar jail here to central jail in Srinagar on medical ground. He has challenged the May 28 order of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court rejecting his plea against his prolonged illegal detention under the PSA in jails outside the UT.

He said he is a Senior Advocate with more than 40 years' standing at the Bar and has served as President of the J&K High Court Bar Association for many terms, including from 2014 till the present day.

Qayoom said he was detained on the intervening night of August 4 and 5, 2019, under the provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Code of Criminal Procedure and thereafter, an order of detention under the PSA was passed against him on August 7, 2019.

He said that on August 8 he was taken to Central Jail, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, without any prior notice of intimation, where he was kept in solitary confinement.

He said the high court's May 28 order is ex facie unsustainable in law as it is premised on "stale, irrelevant, remote, vague, imprecise and deficient" grounds of detention.

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