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A plea has been filed in Supreme Court seeking issuance of a writ of Habeas Corpus to produce activist Talib Hussain, who had played a crucial role in highlighting the Kathua rape and murder that had shocked the country’s conscience earlier this year.
The matter was mentioned today by advocate Sunil Fernandes before Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, who agreed to list the case tomorrow.
In a plea filed by Hussain’s cousin, it has been alleged that Hussain was arrested by the Jammu & Kashmir police and subjected to “third degree torture of the worst kind”.
Hussain had come to the limelight after fighting for an investigation into the Kathua rape case along with advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat.
The petition states,
“It is verily believed that these unknown powerful vested interests were waiting for a right opportunity to “punish” Mr. Talib Hussain for his impertinence in highlighting this unfortunate rape case as a consequence of which several arrests were made and the case was transferred from the local Police to the State Crime Branch.”
When the elected government in Jammu & Kashmir fell on June 19, Governor’s rule was imposed in the State.
Immediately thereafter, Hussain’s wife Nusrat Begum alleged that Hussain had demanded dowry and money from her and physically abused her to the extent of even attempting to kill her. Based on the said complaint, an FIR was registered against him under provisions of the Ranbir Penal Code.
Hussain then approached the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, which granted him interim protection.
A month later, another FIR was registered against him, this time on allegations that Hussain attempted to rape his brother-in-law’s wife.
He was taken into custody based on this FIR a day after the High Court had granted him interim protection in the first FIR.
The petitioner has alleged that a bare perusal of the FIR would reveal that the contents in the same are unbelievable and fanciful. The petition states,
“It is very apparent that once the Hon’ble High Court Jammu & Kashmir passed an interim order and granted protection in favour of Mr. Talib Hussain in the first FIR, the second FIR has been concocted in order to ensure that Mr. Talib Hussain is somehow taken into police custody.”
Subsequently, Mubeen Farooqui, Talib Hussain’s lawyer, had visited him at Samba Police Station when it became clear that he had been subjected to third degree torture, the petition states.
“Mr. Talib Hussain also confided in his advocate about him being tortured while in custody.”
Further, when relatives of Hussain visited him at the police station, they “witnessed physical torture on the body of Mr. Talib Hussain at the instance of the Police”.
Alleging that custodial torture of Hussain amounts to violation of right to life under Article 21 and infringes the law laid down by Supreme Court in DK Basu v. State of West Bengal and other judgments, the petitioner has prayed for issuance of a writ of Habeas Corpus to produce Talib Hussain before the Supreme Court.
Image courtesy: DNA
Read the Petition below.