Srinagar, June 16 (GNS): Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday ordered release of Ali Mohammad Sagar, General Secretary of National Conference, terming his detention order under Public Safety Act over his “known opposition” to the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A as “unjustified.”
The government of India abrogated Article 370 on August 5 last year, and next day Sagar was detained under sections 107 and 151 2 Cr.P.C as the authorities “apprehended opposition” by him to the decision. The PSA order against him was however passed by District Magistrate Srinagar on February 2 this year “with a view to prevent him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.”“The opposition to the abrogation of Articles-370 & 35(A) of the Constitution of India is not sometime new….In my opinion, the grounds of detention of the detenu (Sagar) are so fragile in the present case that they do not justify his detention in view of the justify his detention in view of the law laid down by the Supreme Court in case of Mohd Yousuf Rather (1979 case),” said a bench of Justice Sindhu Sharma, six days after reserving the verdict, according to the Global News Service.
Mohd Yousuf Rather was accused to be a “die-hard Naxalite” and the Supreme Court had quashed his detention order in 1979 after he allegedly on 9-2-79 “compelled the shopkeepers to close down their shops, organised a meeting at Chowalgam and asked the participants to lodge protests against the treatment meted out to Z. A. Bhutto, late Prime Minister of Pakistan by General Zia-UI-Haq, in fact, you did not have any sympathy for the late Prime Minister, but you did it with the intent to exploit the situation and create lawlessness.”
The court compared Sagar’s grounds of detention with that of Rather, saying “in a democracy (activities attributed to Sagar) are the normal of a politician, who admittedly is an active member of National Conference party since 1977 and has been legislature as well as the Member of Cabinet in the erstwhile State of Jammu & Kashmir.”
The court also held the Sagar’s detention order “illegal because the Detaining Authority has not shown its awareness to the fact that the detenu was already in custody.”
The government had said that the detaining authority passed the order by “carefully examining the record and recorded its satisfaction.”
“ It was found necessary to detain the detenu (Sagar) to prevent him from acting in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order and all statutory and constitutional guarantees, have been complied and the grounds of detention were provided to (him) within the statutory period prescribed under section 13 of the Act,” senior additional advocate general B A Dar submitted. Sagar was represented bt advocate Shuja Ul Haq.
After hearing both the sides, the court quashed the detention order (No. DMS/PSA/145/2020) and directed the authorities to “set the detenu at liberty forthwith, provided he is not required in any other case.” (GNS)