Jammu Kashmir HC quashes PSA detention of two religious clerics

The High Court of Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh on Friday quashed the detention of religious clerics Abdul Rashid Dawoodi and Mushtaq Ahmad Veeri, who were held under the Public Safety Act (PSA) last year, in separate orders.

The court directed Veeri to furnish an undertaking before the district magistrate concerned that he would not deliver any hate or anti-national speech on any occasion.

Veeri, the vice president of Jamaat-e-Ahle Hadees, was arrested in September last year for allegedly delivering anti-national speeches during Friday sermons.

Dawoodi, who is the head of Tehreeqi-e-Sout-ul-Auliya’, was arrested in the same month on the grounds that his activities were highly prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.

Justice Sanjay Dhar directed that the two be released unless they are required in any other case.

“From the legal position on the subject, 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 Judge said in its order while hearing a petition of Dawoodi.

Under Article 22 (5), “When any person is detained in pursuance of an order made under any law providing for preventive detention, the authority making the order shall, as soon as may be, communicate to such person the grounds on which the order has been made and shall afford him the earliest opportunity of making a representation against the order.”

“The petition is allowed and the impugned order of detention is quashed. The detenue is directed to be released from the preventive custody forthwith provided he is not required in connection with any other case,” Justice Dhar said.

In the case of Veeri, Justice Dhar while allowing the petition said the detention passed by District Magistrate, Anantnag in September last year is quashed.

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“However, taking into consideration the submissions made by learned counsel for the petitioner under instructions from the petitioner 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 order said.

The undertaking shall be furnished by the petitioner within the period of two days after his release from custody and the receipt of the same be furnished before Registrar, Judicial of this court.

The petitioner is ordered to be released forthwith, provided he is not required in any other case, Justice Dhar said.

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