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HC disposes of petition challenging Mian Qayoom’s detention, urges him to approach competent authority

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir high court today disposed of the petition against the detention of Bar Association President Mian Abdul Qayoom but allowed his lawyers to make a representation to the concerned competent authority.

A divisional bench of the High Court comprising Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul observed that the Advocate General has submitted that the “activities attributed to and alleged against the detainee herein, reflected in the FIRs, are not such acts as, if once committed, would be treated as acts done in the past, and finished.”

Qayoom was detained on 5 August last year when Centre abrogated Article 370. He was later shifted to a jail in Agra, where his health deteriorated. He was later lodged at Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

Earlier in February, a single bench of Justice Tashi Rabstan had dismissed the petition seeking to quash Qayoom detention under PSA.

Appearing for Qayoom, senior advocate Zaffar Ahmed Shah submitted that the detainee was not provided the materials viz. the Police Dossier, Case Diaries, reports, and newspaper reports.

He submitted that without the relevant material, the detainee was prevented from making an effective representation to the detaining authority and the government against his detention.

Shah submitted that the learned judge has erred in holding that the contentions raised in this regard are meretricious. He noted that it has consistently been held by the Supreme Court not supplying the material on which detaining authority relied, render the detention order illegal. It is a sufficient ground for the quashing of the order.

The Court, however, said that the Advocate General submitted that the “FIRs and the grounds of detention depict and relate to the secessionist ideology of the detainee, entertained, developed, nourished and nurtured by him over decades.”

The Court further observed that the Advocate General has submitted “the ideology nourished and nurtured by the detainee cannot be confined or limited to time, qualify it to be called stale or fresh, unless of course, the person concerned declares and establishes by conduct and expression that he has shunned the ideology.”

The bench in its order observed that in the light of argument by the Advocate General, “we leave it to the detainee to decide whether he would wish to take advantage of the stand of the Advocate General and make a representation to the concerned authorities to abide by it.”

“Simultaneously, we also leave it to the discretion of the government and the concerned competent authority to decide terms of relevant provisions of JK PSA on any such representation, if made by the detainee.” “It is made clear that an adverse order on any such application, if made, shall not entail any legal proceeding, whatsoever,” the Court observed.