A Habeas Corpus petition has been filed in the Supreme Court by the wife of Congress leader Saifuddin Soz, challenging his detention by the Government of Jammu & Kashmir as being “unlawful”.
Soz, who is an octogenarian and a former Member of Parliament from the Baramulla constituency, has been under house arrest since August 2019 despite never being informed of the grounds of detention.
Saifuddin Soz’s wife, Mumtazunnisa Soz, stated that her husband was informed of the detention on the morning of August 5, when the Presidential order abrogating Article 370 was passed.
Appearing for the petitioner Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, further argued that all of Saifuddin Soz’s attempts to get a copy of the detention order were fruitless.
Saifuddin Soz stated,
“All efforts by him to obtain a copy of the detention order(s) have been of no avail due to the illegal, arbitrary exercise of powers by the Union Territory of J&K. His detention is wholly contrary and perverse to the constitutional safeguards laid down under Article 21 and 22, as well as the law on preventive detention.”
The primary ground of challenge is it being violativeof Article 22(5) of the Constitution of India, which provides that whenever an order is made for preventive detention, the authority shall immediately inform the reasons for the same.
Further, the petitioner also claims that since Soz was kept under “illegal” detention for over 10 months and the government was guilty of violating his right to life and personal liberty under Article 21.
It is also averred that Soz “has no criminal antecedents and past”, thus there were no cogent reasons for his detention.
Read the plea here: