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PSA detention of Kashmiri journalist Sajad Gul quashed

 PSA detention of Kashmiri journalist Sajad Gul quashed

The Public Safety act of Kashmiri journalist Sajad Gul has been quashed by the High court of Jammu Kashmir.

Sajad was arrested in January 2022.

The court order accessed by The Kashmiriyat was passed by Justice M.A Choudary on November 09 read the grounds of detention, as such, are general allegations against the detenu, with no specific instance/ incident.

The detention order based on such vague grounds is not sustainable, for the reason that the detaining authority, before passing the order, has not applied its mind to draw subjective satisfaction to order prevention detention of the detenu by curtailing his liberty which is a valuable and cherishable right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, the Court observed.

Reliance, in this regard, can be placed on the Judgments of the Hon’ble Supreme Court rendered in cases titled: (i) ‘Jahangirkhan Fazal Khan Pathan v. Police Commissioner, Ahmadabad’; reported as (1989) 3 SCC 590; and (ii)‘Abdul Razak Nanekhan Pathan v. Police Commissioner, Ahmadabad’, reported as AIR 1989 SC 2265, read the order.

“The impugned detention order in the Writ Petition for ther Reasons that the whole of the record/ documents, on which reliance was placed to detain the detenu, had not been supplied to him and that there are vague grounds of detention, with no right of making an effective and meaningful representation is not sustainable, for contravention of the statutory provision of the J&K Public Safety Act as well as constitutional guarantees provided under Article 22 (5) of the Constitution of India,” read the order of which a copy is available with The Kashmiriyat.

For the foregoing reasons and observations made hereinabove,this appeal is allowed and the impugned Judgment dated 1st of December, 2022 passed by the learned Single Judge is set aside. Resultantly, the Writ petition filed by the Appellant, being WP (Crl) No.09/2022, is allowed and the impugned Order of detention bearing No. 25/DMB/PSA of 2021-22 dated 14th of January, 2022passed by the Respondent-District Magistrate, Bandipora is quashed. The Respondents are directed to release the detenu, namely, Sajad Ahmad Dar S/O Gh. Mohammad Dar R/O Baghat Mohalla Shahgund, Tehsil Hajin, District Bandipora, forthwith from the preventive custody, if not required in any other case, the court ordered.

The Kashmiriyat had reported that on January 10, 2022 that Sajad, a journalism student at Central University of Kashmir, was arrested by the Army after they searched him in his house house several times, but he was not at his home. The Army, then sought Sajad’s phone number and at around 10 PM the Army returned and called Sajad, he said.

Sajad had asked his family to not worry and went out where the Army was waiting for him. “We kept calling him constantly for several hours and finally someone around 1 picked up the phone and said Sajad had been handed over to the police,” his brother told The Kashmiriyat.

For the initial two days after his detention, the family met the Police officials who told them to keep silent for a few days and Sajad would be released, he said. “Eventually we came to know that FIR was registered against him,” he said.

Sajad was booked under the 120B (party to criminal conspiracy), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), and 505B (fear or alarm to the public) sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Sajad was granted bail and the family was expecting that he would be released soon. Expecting his release, the family went to the police station in order to take Sajad home. But after waiting for hours, the family was told that he wasn’t at the Hajin Police Station.

Speaking to The Kashmiriyat, the family members of Sajad had said that they have no clue regarding his whereabouts. “We went to meet him in the morning and he was not at the Hajin Police Station (where he as initially lodged),” his brother had told The Kashmiriyat.

A Police official had later confirmed that Sajad who was booked under the Public Safety Act has been shifted to Jammu’s Kot Bhalwal Jail.

However, Sajad Gul was shifted to Uttar Pradesh.

In its dossier, Jammu Kashmir police said that the journalist reports less about the “welfare” of the Jammu Kashmir and is “rather promoting enmity”.

The police dossier claimed that his work can “manipulate” the people of Kashmir, posing a “potential threat” to the “sovereignty of the country.”

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