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J&K HC asks Bar leader to shun ideology and move govt. for release

File photo of Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

File photo of Jammu and Kashmir High Court.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Citing secessionist thinking, it upholds Mian Qayoom’s detention under PSA

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday upheld the detention of High Court Bar Association president Mian Abdul Qayoom under the Public Safety Act (PSA), accepting the argument that past cases relating to his secessionist ideology continued to be relevant to justify his detention.

A Division Bench, of Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Vinod Chatterji Koul, rejected an appeal against a single judge’s order, upholding Mr. Qayoom’s detention. However, it observed that he could make a representation to the authorities for his release to the effect that he had shunned his “secessionist ideology”.

The court left it to the discretion of the government and the authorities concerned to consider such a representation, and made it clear that any “adverse order” on such an application would not entail any legal proceedings.

Counsel for Mr. Qayoom, Z.A Shah, had argued that the FIRs registered against him pertained to the period 2008-10, and the allegations of secessionism contained in them were stale and no more proximate to portray him as a threat to public order.

However, the Advocate-General had argued that Mr. Qayoom nourished and nurtured “secessionist ideology”. “Such ideology cannot be confined or limited to time to qualify it to be called stale or fresh or proximate, unless, of course, the person concerned declares and establishes by conduct and expression that he has shunned the ideology,” the Advocate-General said.

The Bench, observing that the Advocate-General’s argument was legally right and sound, said: “We leave it to the detenue to decide whether he would wish to take advantage of the stand of the Advocate-General and make a representation to the concerned authorities to abide by it.”

The ailing Mr. Qayoom was arrested on August 4-5 ahead of the Centre’s decision to end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr. Shah had contended on his behalf that ideology must have an outer manifestation; it must have some practical conduct on the part of the detenue and that practical conduct must result in violation of some law. “Article 19 of the Constitution gives the citizen a right of speech and a citizen can speak on whatever his ideology may be; he does not commit an offence as long as he does not violate any law.” He had also submitted that the fact that there was no case of any criminal nature registered against the detenue since 2010 was incontrovertible proof that though the detenue might have been holding an ideology, but he had not violated any law.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 9:22:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/jk-hc-asks-bar-leader-to-shun-ideology-and-move-govt-for-release/article31698207.ece

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