SC Issues Notice To Govt On Petition Challenging Saifuddin Soz’s Detention

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SRINAGAR: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to Jammu and Kashmir Administration on a petition filed by Congress leader and former Union Minister Saifuddin Soz’s wife challenging his detention since the nullification of Article 370 in August last year, reported The Tribune.

A Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration to respond to the petition after senior advocates AM Singhvi and P Chidambaram said Soz was under detention for more than 10 months without even properly being communicated about the grounds of his detention, said the report.

The Bench posted the matter for hearing in the second week of July, ignoring Singhvi’s repeated request to take it up next week.

Petitioner Mumtazunnisa Soz contended that her husband – a former MP from the Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency – was picked up by the police on the morning of August 5 and he had been “illegally” detained for the past almost 10 months without being informed about the grounds of his detention.

“All efforts by him to obtain a copy of the detention order(s) have been of no avail due to the illegal, arbitrary exercise of powers by the Union Territory of J&K. His detention is wholly contrary and perverse to the constitutional safeguards laid down under Article 21 and 22, as well as the law on preventive detention,” the petition submitted.

She contended that the detention violated Article 22(5) of the Constitution, according to which whenever an order for preventive detention is made, the detenue has to be immediately informed about the reasons for such an order.

Asserting that her husband “has no criminal antecedents”, she submitted that there were no cogent reasons for his detention and the government was guilty of violating his right to life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were also detained under the stringent PSA, which allows detention up to two years without a trial. However, the Abdullahs have since been released while Mehbooba still remains under detention.

Earlier this month, the Jammu and Kashmir Administration released former IAS officer and Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement leader Shah Faesal, who was detained under PSA, reported The Tribune.

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