A three-judge bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian ofthe Supreme Court upheld a Allahabad High Court order which had quashed Dr. Kafeel Khan’s detention under the National Security Act (NSA) dismissing the Uttar Pradesh government’s appeal against the order.
The court also said that there was no reason to interfere with the September 1 order of the High Court which had set aside detention of Dr. Kafeel Khan. The court dismissed the plea by UP governmentand “We see no reason to interfere.”
The Court clarified that other criminal cases against Khan will be decided on its own merits.
Dr. Khan was in Mathura jail for an allegedly provocative speech at the Aligarh Muslim University in the backdrop of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. It was observed that Khan’s speech did not call for violence and hatred, it actually called for national integrity and unity.
The writ petition filed on behalf of Dr. Khan by his mother Nuzhat Perween and appealed for quashing of Khan’s detention which was allowed by a Division Bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh of the Allahabad High court.
The High Court found that prima facie, Dr. Khan’s speech”does not disclose any effort to promote hatred or violence. It also no where threatens peace and tranquillity of the city of Aligarh. The address gives a call for national integrity and unity among the citizens. The speech also deprecates any kind of violence.”
“The writ petition for the reasons given above is allowed. The order of detention dated 13th February, 2020 passed by District Magistrate, Aligarh and confirmed by the State of Uttar Pradesh is set aside. The extension of the period of detention of Dr. Kafeel Khan is also declared illegal. A writ in the nature of habeas corpus is hereby issued to release Dr. Kafeel Khan, the detenue from State custody forthwith,” the High Court ordered.
The High Court was of the view that Dr. Khan had not been given proper opportunity to give a representation against his detention of Dr. Kafeel Khan. “Such non-supply of material violates a precious fundamental right of a detenue enshrined under Article 22 of the Constitution. On this count also the detention of Dr. Kafeel Khan deserves to be set aside”