High Court quashes 37th PSA detention of Masarat Alam

Srinagar: The High Court has quashed the detention order of Muslim League Chairman, Masarat Alam Bhat and directed the government to release him from preventive detention “if not required in any other case”.  A bench of Justice Rashid Ali Dar quashed Bhat’s detention order under Public Safety Act (PSA) after hearing his counsel, Mian Abdul Qayoom, and the state counsel.

In his plea Bhat had challenged his 37th detention order which was issued against him by District Magistrate on 13 November 2018 on the basis of a dossier and other documents forwarded to him by the SSP Baramulla.

Citing Article 22(5) of Constitution of India and Section 13 of J&K Public Safety Act, the court said these provisions guarantee two important safeguards to the detainee – one he or she is informed of grounds on the basis of which the detaining authority passes the detention order, and second the detainee is allowed to represent against his or her detention immediately after the detention order is made or executed.

The Constitutional and Statutory safeguards guaranteed to the detainee, the court said, are meaningful only if the detainee is handed over the material referred to in the grounds of detention to derive the subjective satisfaction that the preventive detention is necessary to prevent him from acting in the manner prejudicial to the security of the State of public order

The court held that it should be ensured by the detaining authority that the grounds of detention are not vague, sketchy and ambiguous so as to keep the detainee guessing about what really weighed with the detaining authority to make the order. “The order of detention impugned does not sustain on the above referred grounds alone, therefore, other grounds projected in the petition are not required to be dealt with,” the court said and quashed the detention order of Bhat.

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