Court quashes detention of two elderly men lodged in Agra Jail

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has quashed the detention of two elderly persons who were booked and detained in an Uttar Pradesh jail on charges of stone-pelting under the Public Safety Act last year shortly after the annulment of the special status of the erstwhile state.

These two detention orders were quashed by a Single Bench of Justice Tashi Rabstan through a video conference that had earlier reserved its verdict in these two separate habeas corpus petitions on behalf of his clients by Advocate Bashir Ahmed Tak.

Justice Tashi Rabstan had heard the arguments and counter-arguments on 7 July and today he quashed the detention of both elderly persons on the grounds that both the persons were not provided with any material with regard to their detentions and have been booked under old  FIR’s.

As submitted in the petition before the High Court, 60-year-old Abdul Majid Rather son of Abdul Gafar from Archanderhama Pattan area of Baramulla district in North Kashmir was arrested on 5 August in 2019 where many Sections under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act were invoked against him. Advocate Bashir Ahmed Tak said that the subject was booked on charges of stone-pelting under two old FIR’s (127/2016 and 149/2016). He was accused of helping Hurriyat Conference and lodged at UP’s Agra Jail.

“The subject is an elderly person, physically very weak and can’t be involved in stone-pelting. I argued in the court through a video conference. The subject is a fruit grower and innocent,” Tak said.

The High Court quashed his detention and directed authorities to release him. The subject was detained by police station Magam.

The court of Justice Tashi Rabistan also quashed the detention of 55-year-old Muhammad Yousuf Ganaie son of Ghulam Muhammad, a resident of Kurhama Ganderbal.

Muhammad Yousuf Ganaie was booked by police station Kheer Bhawani on 7 August 2019 in a year-old case (9/2018) registered against him. He was booked under section 153 RPC and shifted to Agra Jail under Public Safety Act.

Tak while arguing Yousuf’s petition submitted before the court that his client is an elderly person who has never gone to school. He further submitted that the grounds of detention were never supplied to his client or read to him by the authorities in the language which he could have understood. “The High Court considered these submissions and accordingly quashed the PSA detention order passed against Muhammad Yousuf Ganaie.”

The State was represented by Advocate Asifa Padroo and Advocate Bashir Ahmed Dar in these cases. (KNT)  

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