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Habeas Corpus Plea Filed In Allahabad High Court Seeking Release Of Alleged PFI Members Held On Their Way To Hathras

Sparsh Upadhyay
6 Nov 2020 12:56 PM GMT
Habeas Corpus Plea Filed In Allahabad High Court Seeking Release Of Alleged PFI Members Held On Their Way To Hathras
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A Habeas Corpus Writ Petition has been moved in the Allahabad High Court praying for directions to the UP Government to set free 3 alleged PFI Members, Atik Ur Rehman, Alam and Masud, illegally detained by the Deputy Superintendent of Police while they were going to Hathras to meet family of the deceased gang-rape victim.The plea has been moved by Shakhavat Kha (the Maternal Uncle...

A Habeas Corpus Writ Petition has been moved in the Allahabad High Court praying for directions to the UP Government to set free 3 alleged PFI Members, Atik Ur Rehman, Alam and Masud, illegally detained by the Deputy Superintendent of Police while they were going to Hathras to meet family of the deceased gang-rape victim.

The plea has been moved by Shakhavat Kha (the Maternal Uncle and Father-In-Law of the accused Atik Ur Rehman, the Petitioner No. 1) through Advocates Shashwat Anand, Sarveshwari Prasad and Rajesh Inamdar.

Background of the Case

The first Petitioner, Atik Ur Rehman, is a student; the second Petitioner, Alam, is a cab driver and the third Petitioner, Masud, is an activist.

The plea submits that the accused-petitioners, being concerned social activists were going to meet the bereaved family and offer them consolation and solace and to share their grief so as to help them in their quest for justice. The Petitioner No. 2, being a taxi/cab driver was ferrying them to the said destination.

It is alleged they were that they were detained on October 5, 2020, in Mathura, while they were on their way. They have been booked under Sections 153-A, 124-A, 295-A of IPC , Sections 17 and 18 of UAPA and Section 65, 72 and 75 of the IT Act on 07/10/2020.

It is alleged that thereafter, "in illegal exercise of powers by the Executive Magistrate (SDM, Maant, Mathura), totally beyond the applicable purview and domain of Ss. 107/116/151 and S. 167 CrPC," the Petitioners were sent to jail in judicial custody of 14 days (being successively extended).

Further, the Plea submits that subsequent to the same, the FIR dated 07/10/2020 was lodged against them, they were produced in the Court of CJM, Mathura, on the said date in the afternoon and were remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.

The Plea also contends,

"The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mathura, vide its Order dated 04/11/2020 has illegally handed them over to police custody of Respondent No. 2, from 04/11/2020 05:00PM to 06/11/2020 05:00PM, upon their application under S.43D(2) of UAPA, 1967 claiming 10 days police remand, in sheer defiance of the settled law of the land, applicable to the instant case."

The plea argues that any offence under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA) is a Scheduled Offence under the National Investigation Act, 2008 and Section 13(1) of the said Act categorically lays down that every Scheduled Offence under the 2008 Act, shall exclusively be triable by a Special Court.

Further, it contends that CJM, Mathura has no jurisdiction either to try the matter or remand the petitioners to police custody, in the light of the Judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court dated 12/10/2020 (Bikramjit Singh vs. State of Punjab).

The Plea argues that "from a bare perusal of the said FIR dated 07/10/2020, it is conspicuous, that no offence has been made out as against the petitioners".

The plea also states that,

"The petitioners are unfortunate victims and scapegoats of the high-handedness of the police authorities. They have committed no offence, which is clear from a bare perusal of the Sections, slapped on them and the allegations in the FIR, which are completely false and bogus, and no case as against them is made out."

It is therefore urged that a writ in the nature of Habeas Corpus be issued, quashing the remand order passed by CJM, Mathura. It is also pleaded that the FIR against the accused-Petitioners be quashed.

An interim relief is also sought for enlarging the petitioners on bail during the pendency of the instant proceedings.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Mathura Anju Rajput had on 16th October dismissed an application filed by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) to meet Malayalam Journalist Siddique Kappan, presently lodged at Mathura jail.

Significantly, the Kerala Union of Working Journalists has filed an application for interim directions before the Supreme Court, seeking permission for regular VC meetings of Kerala journalist, Siddique Kappan, with his family members and lawyers.

A habeas corpus plea seeking his relief is already pending before the Supreme Court and on the previous hearing, the Court had asked the Union to amend the petition to incorporate subsequent developments in the case.


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