At the brink of completion of a year since abrogation of Article 370 in the erstwhile State of Jammu & Kashmir, which comes to a close on August 5, 2020, the Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed hope for the troubled region of Kashmir.
"Hope is something which creates the future and we are hopeful" said the bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Ajay Rastogi and Aniruddha Bose in the case concerning Mian Abdul Qayoom's detention which was challenged in light of it being upheld by the Jammu & Kashmir High Court.
Court expressed hope that Qayoom, set to be released today, shall now adopt a "Constructive Approach" in the future and the Government will consider, how to restore normalcy in Kashmir "at the earliest".
It is pertinent to note that Qayoom's nonconformist ideology was cited as the reason for upholding his detention by the Solicitor General on July 15 when the plea first came up for hearing.
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court had equated Qayoom's ideology as being one like a "Live Volcano"
The Top Court highlighted that "Kashmir has been a troubled area" but "nature has been very kind to the place" and that it was time for it to look to the future -- within the future domain of our country.
"Before we part with the matter, we must say that Kashmir has been a troubled area. Nature has been very kind to the place. It is the human race which has been unkind. It is time for all wounds to be healed and look to the future within the domain of our country" - Supreme Court
The Central Government stated had in Court that it shall allow the release of Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association's President immediately, i.e. on July 30, in view of what had been offered by Qayoom's Counsel, Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, that "he will not travel to Jammu & Kashmir till the 7th of next month and not issue any press or other statements till that date, his pre-mature release may be considered".
Dave had sought for his release so that his family could receive him and the Solicitor General had agreed to this suggestion.
While appreciating Counsels on both sides for assisting Court in the conduct of proceedings with a forward vision, particularly when the issue at hand was "sensitive", the bench stated that it was due to the efforts of Counsel(s) for the petitioner and Government that the Court did "not have to examine the legality and validity of the impugned judgments".
"We must begin by first appreciating the manner of conduct of the proceedings and the stand taken by both the sets of the counsels represented before us Mr. Dushyant Dave, learned senior counsel for the petitioner with Ms. Vrinda Grover, learned counsel ably assisting and Mr. Tushar Mehta, learned Solicitor General. Despite the matter being sensitive in character, we feel both sides have looked at the way forward" said the bench.
On Monday, the Solicitor General had told the Court that his detention, which is set to expire on August 7, will not be extended further.
Qayoom had been under detention since August 5 last year following the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and is currently lodged in Tihar jail, Delhi.
His release, the court noted, shall also facilitate Qayoom to celebrate Eid (which is on August 1).
Qayoom was represented by Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave and Advocate Vrinda Grover while the J&K government was represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.