High Court quashes detention orders of two top clerics

Srinagar: The High Court of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh on Friday quashed detention orders of two religious preachers.

The detention of Molvi Abdul Rashid Sheikh alias Dawoodi and Moulana Mushtaq Ahmed Bhat alias Veeri was quashed by two separate benches of the High Court.

While Veeri was arrested on September 13, last year, Dawoodi was placed under preventive detention last year and lodged in Central Jail, Kotbhalwal Jammu.

Both the petitioners challenged their detentions in the High Court.

The petitioner Dawoodi contended in the Court that the detaining authority issued the impugned detention order mechanically without application of mind.

His lawyer argued that the allegations mentioned in the grounds of detention have no nexus with the detenue and that the same have been fabricated by the police in order to justify its illegal action of detaining the detenue.

The respondents through their counsel disputed the averments made in the petition and insisted that the activities of detenue are highly prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.

Justice Sanjay Dhar while allowing the quashing of detention order of Molvi Dawoodi pointed out that the petitioner had made a representation against his detention through his brother, which, seemingly, has been received by the office of District Magistrate, Anantnag, on September 26, 2022.

“The detention record does not suggest that the said representation has been considered by the Government. The non-consideration of the representation indisputably amounts to violation of constitutional safeguards,” Justice Dhar pointed out.

”…From the aforesaid 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. Viewed thus, 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,” the Court order read.

Molana Veeri’s lawyer, in his petition said he was earlier detained in 2019 and the order of detention was quashed by the High Court. The petitioner impugned the order of detention grounds are identical to the grounds of detention on the basis of which petitioner was earlier detained.

Veeri’s lawyer argued that the order of detention is vague, bereft of specific details, as such no prudent and reasonable man can make effective and purposeful representation to the Government.

The government lawyer stated that the petitioner is presently serving as Vice President of Jamiat Ahli Hadees and in 2016, he played a key role in instigating and provoking the youth resulting in the registration of FIRs.

The government argued that the petitioner 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.

The petitioner was informed that he has a right to make representation to the District Magistrate, Anantnag and to the Government against the detention order as well, if he so desired.

In the order, High Court Judge, Rajnesh Oswal, quashed the detention order passed by District Magistrate, Anantnag of Molana Veeri.

“…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 undertaking shall be furnished by the petitioner within the period of two days after his release from custody … The petitioner is ordered to be released forthwith, provided he is not required in any other case,” the Court order read.


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