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SC Issues Notice On J&K HC Bar Association President Mian Abdul Qayoom's Habeas Plea Against Detention Order

Radhika Roy
26 Jun 2020 7:09 AM GMT
SC Issues Notice On J&K HC Bar Association President Mian Abdul Qayooms Habeas Plea Against Detention Order
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The Supreme Court issued notice in a plea filed by Senior Advocate and Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association President Mian Abdul Qayoom, challenging the 28thMay, 2020 Order of the J&K High Court which dismissed his habeas corpus petition and upheld his detention under the J&K Public Safety Act, 1978.

A Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and BR Gavai heard the matter and issued notice on the same, returnable in the first week of July after reopening of the Supreme Court. An interim order has also been passed to provide the Qayoom with summer clothing and daily essentials while he remains in detention at Tihar Jail. 

Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave and Advocate Vrinda Grover, assisted by Advocate Soutik Banerjee appeared on behalf of the Petitioner before the Supreme Court. 

Qayoom has been under detention since August 7, 2019, after the Central Government took measures on August 5th, 2019, to abrogate the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution of India. J&K HC's Justice Tashi Rabstan, who had presided over the matter, had held that there was sufficient material to show the subjective satisfaction of authorities with regard to the need to detain Qayoom. He further added that the same had been carried out following the procedure of the J&K Public Safety Act, 1978.
The instant appeal, filed by Advocate-on-Record Aakarsh Kamra on behalf of Qayoom, states the Petitioner is a "Senior Advocate with more than 40 years' standing at the Bar, having served as President of the J&K High Court Bar Association for many terms, including from 2014 till the present day". 
The plea further contends that the Respondents had detained Qayoom on the intervening night of 4th and 5th August, 2019, under the provisions of Sections 107 read with 151 of the Jammu and Kashmir Code of Criminal Procedure. His detention had then been prolonged by invoking provisions of the J&K PSA, 1978.
"Thereafter, an order of detention under the Public Safety Act was passed against the detenu on 07.08.2019, and on 08.08.2019, the Petitioner was taken to Central Jail, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, without any prior notice of intimation, where he was kept in solitary confinement."
The order of the Respondents had been challenged by Qayoom before the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, which had been dismissed on 07.02.2020. Subsequently, an appeal filed before the HC was also dismissed on 28.05.2020.
The instant Special Leave Petition before the Apex Court states that "the impugned common judgement and order dated 28.05.2020 is ex facie unsustainable in law as it is premised on stale, irrelevant, remote vague, imprecise and deficient grounds of detention. The impugned judgement and order concluded that most of the grounds in the detention order 'somewhat clumsy' which implies that the High Court too found them wanting". 
The plea further comments on the fragility of Qayoom's health on account of him being more than 70 years of age and suffering from life threatening heart ailments showing blockade of artery to the extent of 55-60%, with uncontrolled blood sugar and surviving on one functioning kidney. Furthermore, he sustained a bullet injury in 1995 due to which he suffered cervical vertebral column injury. 
"In such conditions, the Petitioner is a high risk vulnerable to COVID-19 due to several co-morbid conditions. Yet, the impugned judgment and order rejects the request for transfer of the Petitioner to a jail closer to home in Srinagar conditional on grounds that are repugnant to the constitutional jurisprudence of Article 19 and 21, and cannot be sustained in law."
In light of the above, the Petitioner had filed the instant petition for special leave to appeal against the "illegal, untenable and unconstitutional findings and observations made in the impugned judgement and order."
The Supreme Court heard the matter and issued notice in the same. The matter is now listed in first week of July after reopening of the Supreme Court.



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