Srinagar- The High Court of J&K and Ladakh quashed detention orders under Public Safety Act against two religious leaders , Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat alias Veeri and Molvi Abdul Rashid Sheikh alias Dawoodi, and ordered the authorities to release the duo forthwith if nor required in any other case.
Veeri was ordered to be detained by District Magistrate Anantnag by virtue of an order on 12 March 2019. However, the detention order was quashed by the court June 6, 2019. Later the government ordered a fresh PSA detention order against him. Dawoodi was ordered to be detained under fresh PSA on 13 September 2022.
According to the government’s statement, Veeri was delivering Friday sermons in Jamia Ahle Hadees Sherbagh, Anantnag and is presently serving as Vice President of Jamiat Ahle Hadees.
In the year 2016, it said, he played a key role in “instigating and provoking” the youth, resulting in the registration of FIR (17/2016), FIR No. 168/2018 and FIR No. 228/2017.
The government further stated that Veeri is continuously delivering anti- national speeches and taking into consideration his activities being prejudicial to the maintenance of public order, order of detention was issued.
On the other hand, Veeri’s counsel vehemently argued that Veeri has been detained on vague grounds and that he has “never delivered and will never deliver any anti- national speeches.”
The lawyer also submitted that he is under instructions from Veeri that he is ready to furnish an undertaking that he would never make any hate or anti-national speech anywhere in the country, in any manner and mode.
After hearing both the sides, a bench of Justice Rajnesh Oswal allowed the plea and quashed the detention order (No. 64/DMA/PSSA/DET/2022 dated 13 September 2022 passed by District Magistrate, Anantnag”.
“However, taking into consideration the submissions made by counsel for the petitioner under instructions from the petitioner (Veeri) in respect of the voluntary offer of the petitioner to submit an undertaking, the petitioner is directed to furnish an undertaking before the District Magistrate concerned that the petitioner will not deliver any hate or anti-national speech on any occasion,” the court said, adding, “The undertaking shall be furnished by the petitioner with in the period of two days after his release from custody and the receipt of the same be furnished before Registrar, Judicial of this court.” Subsequently the court ordered authorities to release Veeri forthwith, provided he is not required in any other case.
Meanwhile, a bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar quashed detention order (No.65/DMA/PSA/DET/2022 dated 13.09.2022), issued by District Magistrate,Anantnag against Dawoodi and ordered his release from preventive detention .
The government said that activities of Dawoodi were highly prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.
“….it is clear that non-consideration or an unreasonably belated consideration of the representation tantamounts to non-compliance of Article 22(5) of the Constitution, which in turn renders the detention unsustainable in law,” the court said and quashed the detention order.
Subsequently, the court directed Dawoodi’s release from the preventive custody forthwith “provided he is not required in connection with any other case.”
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