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Give summer clothes, essentials to PSA detainee Kashmir bar chief: SC to Tihar officials

Mian Qayoom was detained under the Public Safety Act in August last year, ahead of the revocation of Article 370 by the Modi government.

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday asked the Tihar jail authorities to ensure that Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association President Mian Abdul Qayoom, who is detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA), is provided with summer clothes and basic essentials in the jail.

The bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice B.R. Gavai also issued notice to the central government and the Jammu and Kashmir government on a plea filed by Qayoom challenging the high court’s 28 May order upholding his detention.

Qayoom was detained on the intervening night of 4 and 5 August last year, ahead of the Modi government’s decision to revoke Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

During the hearing, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for Qayoom, submitted that he was brought to Tihar jail from the union territory, so he has only winter clothing.

“Direct the Tihar jail authorities to provide him with basic daily needs… He is a senior and responsible member of the bar,” he submitted.

Accepting the submission, Justice Kaul said, “Current weather situation would require summer clothing. Jail authorities to look into the issue… Appropriate clothing is permitted along with daily essentials.”

The court then directed the matter to be posted when the apex court reopens in July.

Also read: J&K High Court dismisses plea against detention of bar council chief Mian Qayoom under PSA

‘Shun secessionist ideology’: HC

On 28 May, Jammu and Kashmir High Court had rejected a plea filed by Qayoom’s wife demanding his release.

It had also said that Qayoom can make a representation before the government assuring that he has shunned his “secessionist ideology” for his release.

The court was referring to a statement made by Advocate General D.C. Raina, during the hearing.

Raina had said the FIRs and grounds of detention against Qayoom depicted his secessionist ideology, which he had developed over decades. He added that this is usually the case unless a person “declares and establishes by conduct and expression that he has shunned the ideology”.

Likening the ideology as a “live volcano”, the court said it is now open to Qayoom to “take advantage of the stand of the learned advocate general and make a representation to the concerned authorities to abide by it”.

Also read: Grenade, stalking, vandalism — bizarre drama unfolds after unseating of Srinagar mayor

High court allowed ‘thought policing’: Qayoom’s plea

Qayoom’s petition in the Supreme Court calls this order “ex facie unsustainable in law as it is premised on stale, irrelevant, remote, vague, imprecise and deficient grounds of detention”.

His plea asserts that by relying on his ideology, the high court “embarked on a constitutionally barred exercise of sanctioning State induced thought policing, which violates the right to privacy and dignity of the Petitioner”.

“The tenets of the Indian Constitution bar the state from acting as a thought police and endows a person with the right to privacy as a facet of the right to life and liberty, recognized by the judgment of nine judges of this Hon’ble Court in KS Puttaswamy vs Union of India (2017) 10 SCC 1,” the petition notes.

The petition also refers to the several health complications that Qayoom suffers from.

Meanwhile, Qayoom’s son-in-law, Javed Iqbal Wani was appointed as a judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court earlier this month, a year after his name was recommended for elevation.

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