May 2020 News

JK HC Junks UT's Bar Association Chief's Plea Against His Detention Under PSA

28 May 2020

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday dismissed a plea by the Union Territory's Bar Association president Mian Abdul Qayoom's against his detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA). A bench of justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Vinod Chatterji Koul dismissed the plea, suggesting that the bar association J&K Bar Association chief should appeal before the competent authority for his release if he undertakes to shun secessionist ideology. The bench refused to grant any relief to Qayoom, observing that the 'activities attributed to and alleged against the detenue in the FIRs' relate to his secessionist ideology. 'The advocate general submitted that the FIRs and the grounds of detention depict and relate to the secessionist ideology of the detenue, entertained, developed, nourished and nurtured by him over decades,' the bench said. It also observed that the UT's advocate general has submitted that the ideology nourished and nurtured by the detainee cannot be confined or limited to time, and 'qualifies it to be called stale or fresh, unless of course, the person concerned declares and establishes by conduct and expression that he has shunned the ideology'. In the light of the argument made by the UT's law officer, 'we leave it to the detenue to decide whether he would wish to take advantage of the advocate general's stand and make a representation to the concerned authorities to abide by it'. 'Simultaneously, we also leave it to the discretion of the government and the concerned competent authority to take a decision in terms of relevant provisions of JK PSA on any such representation, if made by the detenue. It is made clear that an adverse order on any such application, if made, shall not entail any legal proceeding, whatsoever,' the court observed. Qayoom was detained on August 5 last year - the day the Centre announced the abrogation of the Article 370 of the Constitution. He was later booked under the stringent Public Safety Act.