Srinagar, Sep 09:
In a significant ruling on Friday, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court made a groundbreaking decision by nullifying the detention orders of two clerics, Moulana Abdul Rashid Dawoodi and Mushtaq Ahmed Veeri, who had been detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA). Justices Sanjay Dhar and Rajnesh Oswal passed this judgment, ordering the immediate release of the Kashmiri religious clerics from jail.
The ruling pertains to the case of Molvi Abdul Rashid Sheikh, commonly known as Dawoodi, who had been detained on September 13, 2022, by the District Magistrate of Anantnag. The detention was ostensibly to prevent him from engaging in activities detrimental to public order. However, the petitioner contended that the detention order had been issued without due consideration and that the allegations against him were fabricated by the police.
Furthermore, it was argued that the grounds for detention were vague and non-existent, making it impossible for the petitioner to make a meaningful representation. Procedural safeguards had allegedly not been followed, and the petitioner's representation had not been considered.
The respondents, representing the government, maintained that all legal requirements had been met in the issuance of the detention order and that the detenue had been provided with the necessary material to challenge his detention. They also claimed that despite being informed of his right to make a representation, the detenue had not done so.
The petitioner's counsel argued that the detenue had not been provided with relevant material, and there was a lack of proper application of mind by the detaining authority when issuing the detention order. They also highlighted that a representation had been submitted but had not been considered.
It was noted that the non-consideration of the representation violated constitutional safeguards outlined in Article 22(5) of the Constitution. The court referenced the judgment of the Apex Court in the case of Rahmatullah Vs. State of Bihar and Ors., 1979 (4) SCC 559, which underscored the importance of considering such representations.
In light of these arguments and legal precedents, the High Court ruled in favour of the petitioners, quashing the impugned detention order and ordering the immediate release of the detenue, provided there were no other pending cases against him.
In a separate case, Mushtaq Ahmed Veeri, a prominent cleric of 'Jamiat e Ahl e Hadith,' who was also detained under the Public Safety Act on the same day, received a similar reprieve from Justice Rajnesh Oswal. The court found the grounds of detention against Veeri to be vague, as they lacked specific dates and details of alleged anti-national speeches. Consequently, Veeri's detention order dated September 13, 2022, was quashed, and he was directed to provide an undertaking that he would refrain from delivering hate or anti-national speeches in the future.