Mian Abdul Qayoom has been under detention since August 2019 and moved Supreme Court challenging his detention
Mian Abdul Qayoom has been under detention since August 2019 and moved Supreme Court challenging his detention
Litigation News

Mian Abdul Qayoom to be released from detention immediately: Centre tells Supreme Court

Qayoom's detention was set to expire on August 6 and was decided not to be extended. Supreme Court had earlier asked Centre to "show some grace" and release him immediately.

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court was told by the Central government today that Jammu & Kashmir High Court Bar Association President Mian Abdul Qayoom will be released on bail immediately.

The Court had earlier asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Jammu & Kashmir government, to take instructions on Qayoom's release on bail.

The Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Ajay Rastogi, and Aniruddha Bose was told that Qayoom will be released immediately. The Court was earlier told that the detention of Qayoom under the Public Security Act would not be extended further after August 6, when it is scheduled to expire.

Ajay Rastogi, Sanjay Kishan Kaul,  Aniruddha Bose
Ajay Rastogi, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Aniruddha Bose

The Centre said that as per the order of the Court, Qayoom will remain in Delhi till August 7 and will not release or issue any statements.

Qayoom had challenged the decision of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court to uphold his detention before the Supreme Court.

On May 29, the Jammu & Kashmir High Court set aside Qayoom's habeas corpus plea and upheld his detention under the controversial Public Safety Act. The High Court had accepted the argument that the senior lawyer should “declare and establish” by his conduct that he has “shunned his separatist ideology.”

Qayoom was one of the many people who had been detained back in August last year, when Article 370 of the Constitution of India was abrogated and the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir was revoked.

He was arrested by the Jammu & Kashmir Police on the intervening night of August 4 and 5, hours before the Centre's move.

The petition states that the detention order was upheld on the basis of four FIRs registered against Qayoom between 2008 and 2010.

Further, the plea also contends that fresh material was placed before the High Court during appellate proceedings and that this material was not relied upon by the detaining authority while issuing the detention order against Qayoom. Therefore, based on the new material, the detention order ought not be upheld, the plea states, To this extent, the High Court's order is unsustainable in law, according to the petitioner.

Many of the facts and materials - including police dossier, case diaries, among others - that were relied on by the detaining authority were also not supplied to the petitioner. On these grounds, the detention order and proceedings stand vitiated, the petition adds further.

The old age of Qayoom, his vulnerability to COVID-19, and the rising number of Coronavirus cases have also been listed as grounds for allowing the petition.

Qayoom was represented by Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, Advocate Vrinda Grover with Advocates Soutik Banerjee and Aakarsh Kamra.

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