SRINAGAR: In a major embarrassment for PDP-BJP government in state, Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday quashed detention under stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) of hardline separatist leader Masarat Alam and ordered his release.
A single bench of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar today quashed the PSA detention of 44-year-old Masarat Alam terming his detention orders “illegal”.
Masarat was arrested in April this year for waving Pakistani flag and chanting pro-Pakistan and pro-JuD chief Hafiz Saeed’s slogans.
The court asked the government to release Alam from the preventive custody.
In his judgement, Justice Attar observed that the bail application of the detenue was rejected by the Trial Court much before passing of the detention order. “The detaining authority has shown complete lack of awareness about the said important aspect of the case.”
He said the district magistrate in his detention order was required to show compelling reasons for invoking PSA against Alam.
“The law laid down by Supreme Court in the matter does render the impugned detention order illegal,” Justice Attar said.
He further observed that laws are sacred as they protect the rights of the people. “It becomes duty of the court to enforce the law of the land even in extreme circumstances. The citizens are in the like manner duty bound to obey and respect the law of the land”.
Masarat Alam, who is close confidant of hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani and spearheaded six month long summer unrest in the Valley in 2010, was arrested on April 17 this year. He had waved Pakistani flags and chanted pro-Pakistan and pro-Hafiz Saeed slogans during a rally organized in Srinagar on April 15 to welcome Syed Ali Geelani from New Delhi.
Police had booked him under section 13 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and sedition charges.
Earlier, Alam was released in March after over four and half year’s detention for his role in spearheading 2010 agitation during which over 120 people, mostly youth were killed in police and paramilitary forces action.
His release, which came immediately after PDP-BJP government took over reigns of the State, created furore across the country.