High Court quashes PSA detention of 3 persons

The High Court Friday directed the government to release three persons from preventive custody while quashing their detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA).

Allowing their separate habeas corpus pleas, a bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar directed the government to release from custody Muhammad Aslam Sheikh of GudporaYarikahKhansahib, Budgam, AdilManzoor Mir of AshajiporaAnantnag and Ahtisham-ul-HaqBhat of ChittaybandyAragam, Bandipora.

While Sheikh was booked under PSA on November 11, 2020, by virtue of an order passed by District Magistrate Budgam, Mir was detained vide order dated February 26, 2021, issued by District Magistrate, Anantnag.

Bhat was booked under the order issued by District Magistrate, Bandipora on March 3 last year.

Quashing the detention of Sheikh, the court said: “It is a settled position of law that preventive detention orders can be passed even when a person is in police/judicial custody or involved in a criminal case but for doing so, compelling reasons are to be recorded.”

The Detaining Authority, the court said, is bound to record the compelling reasons as to why the detainee could not be deterred from indulging in subversive activities by resorting to normal law.

“In the absence of these reasons, the order of detention becomes unsustainable in law,” the court said.

With regard to the FIR of the petitioner, the court said that the detaining authority had not referred to any other cogent material or furnished any other cogent ground to show that if the detainee was allowed to remain at large, he would be a potential threat to the security of the state.

“It appears that the satisfaction of the detaining authority that the detainee is a potential threat to the security of the state is solely based on the allegations made in the FIR and no other material,” the court said.

The detainee, the court said, was already in custody in the FIR and there were remote chances of his getting bail as he was involved in the offences to which rigour of S.43D of UAPA is attracted.

“Thus, there were no compelling reasons for the detaining authority to pass the impugned order of detention. The same, therefore, is not sustainable in law,” the court said.