New Delhi, Dec 9: Two days after he was released “temporarily”, the Jammu and Kashmir administration informed the Supreme Court on Monday that it had permanently revoked the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) against NRI businessman Mubeen Shah, who had been picked by authorities in Kashmir in August.
Shah was released
on Saturday from the Agra Central Jail where he had been moved to on August 7
after being detained in Kashmir Valley, along with a host of political leaders,
social activists and separatists following the Centre”s announcements related
to Jammu and Kashmir.
The release of
Shah on Saturday was “temporary” and he was asked to surrender on
March 7 next year, according to an order issued by Principal Home Secretary of
Jammu and Kashmir.
Sunday, the same officer issued another order, submitted before the Supreme
Court, saying that the PSA had been revoked under section 19 (1) of the Act and
the fresh order superseded its order of December 6.
Under this Act,
the government may at any time revoke or modify the detention order against any
of the powers conferred under section 19 (1) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public
Safety Act, 1978, the government hereby in supersession of government
order…dated December 6, revokes the detention order…dated August 7,
2019…,” the order said.
A bench of
Justices N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai allowed the withdrawal of a
plea challenging the August 7 order after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta,
appearing for the union territory, said the PSA has been permanently revoked.
The top court was
hearing a plea filed by Asifa Mubeen, the wife of Mubeen Shah, seeking quashing
of the August 7 order of detention along with the grounds of detention under
section 8(1)(a) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978.
appearing for Asifa said they would like to withdraw the plea as it has become
infructuous. The bench then allowed the plea to be withdrawn.
Solicitor General submitted the order of complete revocation of PSA against my
client, the petition was disposed off,” Shah”s counsel Shariq J Reyaz
told PTI after the hearing.
Shah is among the
host of politicians, social activists and businessmen detained after August 5,
when the Centre announced its decisions to withdraw special status of Jammu and
Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and divide the state into two
union territories — Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
He is possibly
the first person charged under the controversial PSA to have been released by
the union territory administration without any such directions from the court.
during the US Congress hearing on South Asia human rights, focused on India”s
action in Kashmir last month when Indian-American Democratic lawmaker from
Washington”s 7th Congressional district Pramila Jayapal raised the issue about
“One of the
individuals detained without charges is Dr Mubeen Shah, who is the uncle of my
constituents in Seattle…this is former CEO of chamber of commerce. His
urologist who is affiliated with Registrar General of Hospital has called for
his immediate release because of serious medical issues.”
the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice G
Wells replied that America had taken up the issue of Shah with the Indian
explicitly raised the case of Dr Shah and shared your concern about the grounds
for detention particularly given the health condition. We have received a
response that he is receiving medication,” she said.
Based out of
Malaysia, where he runs his handicrafts business, Shah used to visit Kashmir
once in a year. Earlier, he was president of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce
and Industry.He had come to
Kashmir in May this year from Malaysia for a short duration but had to extend
it due to a bereavement in his family and later due to infection for which he
was undergoing treatment in a Srinagar hospital.