J-K High Court quashes PSA detention of 9th standard student

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Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Monday quashed detention orders under Public Safety Act against two persons and ordered their released from preventive custody “forthwith”.

“As per the dossier supplied by the police, the detenu-petitioner is 9th standard student after passing the exam and was shopkeeper by profession,” a bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said while quashing the detention order of Rameez Ahmad Malla son of Abdul Majeed Malla of Wattergam Rafiabad. He was booked under PSA on 14 February last year by District Magistrate, Baramulla.

As per police, in May 2019 Rameez had developed contacts with one foreign militant alias Maz Bahi of Hizbul Majahideen and started providing all sorts of assistance to the him including food and shelter in other houses of area.

“(He) got motivated by militant to work as OGW of Hizbul Mujhideen. (He) was instrumental in strengthening militancy network in the area of Rafiabad. For his involvement in the activities, the (he) was apprehended on 07.11.2019 in connection with case FIR No.161/2019 under Sections 18,39 of ULA(P) Act and 7/25 Arms Act registered in Police Station,Dangiwacha,” the dossier said as observed by the court.

“The detenu (Rameez) has been detained under preventive detention for his alleged involvement in subversive activities which led to the registration of FIR No.161/2019 under Sections 18, 39 of ULA(P) Act and 7/25 Arms Act. In the aforesaid FIR, (he) was released on bail by the competent court of jurisdiction on 26th of February, 2019, but instead of releasing he was detained under Public Safety Act, interestingly, did not bring the factum of detenu having been released on bail in FIR No.161/2019, to the notice of detaining authority,” the court said as per GNS, adding, “It is because of this omission on the part of Senior Superintendent of Police, the detaining authority has categorically stated in the grounds of the

detention that the detenu was under judicial remand and that there was every likelihood of his being admitted to bail.”

The District Magistrate in its order, the court said, has also noted that “there was well-founded apprehension based on report received from field information that the detenu (Rameez), if released on bail, would again indulge in subversive activities.”

“…it is clear that either there is lapse on the part of police to provide all relevant material to the detaining authority or there is lack of application of mind on the part of detaining authority. The fact, however, remains that at the time of passing of the detention order, the detaining authority was not aware whether the detenu was in police/judicial custody or he stood released on bail,” the court said, holding the “non-application of mind” by the district magistrate as “fatal” and “sufficient to vitiate the order of detention.”

Subsequently, the court quashed the detention order and ordered Rameez’s release from the preventive detention forthwith.

The court also quashed detention order of another detainee, Manzoor Ahmed Khan alias Mana Khan, son of Ama Khan of Chill Tehsil Khansahib Budgam. He was detained under the PSA by virtue of an order on 29 August 2020 passed by District Magistrate, Budgam.

“The detenu (Manzoor) was not supplied the materials relied upon by the detaining authority. The detenu was provided material in the shape of grounds of detention with no other material / documents, as referred to in the order of detention. On these counts alone, the detention of the detenu is vitiated, the detenu having been prevented from making an effective and purposeful representation against the order of detention,” the court said and ordered his release from preventive custody forthwith. (GNS)

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