The Allahabad High Court has asked the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government to file their replies in the habeas corpus plea seeking the release of Dr Kafeel Khan, who is detained under the National Security Act (NSA) for giving a provocative speech during anti – Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests.
Facts of the Case
Mr Khan was arrested on 19 January 2020 for giving a speech at the Aligarh Muslim University (that was deemed provocative by the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh Government) on 13 December 2019 amidst the raging anti–Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests. It is to be noted that he had been granted bail by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Aligarh on 10 February 2020. However, he was not released. Hence, his detention was considered as illegal. Moreover, after about five days (15 February 2020), he was charged under the NSA Act by the Aligarh District Magistrate. Currently, he is lodged at the Mathura Jail until further notice.
This Habeas corpus plea was moved by Mr Khan’s mother, Nuzhat Parween, who had approached the Supreme Court of India in March this year, seeking her son’s release. However, the Bench disposed of the plea with an observation that Allahabad HC is the appropriate forum for dealing with the issue. Following the same, she had filed the writ petition under the High Court of Allahabad. The plea challenges Mr Khan’s detention for four days (from 10 to 14 February 2020) even after the sanction of bail and seeks the release of Mr Khan who’s been staying at the jail since January this year.
On 5 August 2020 the High Court of Allahabad consisting a bench of justices, Manoj Mishra and Deepak Verma had passed the order stating,
“…positively reply to the amended petition be filed. In the meantime, Union of India may also file counter affidavit. Learned counsel for the petitioner shall inform the learned counsel for Union of India about this order in writing within 48 hours.”
The Allahabad HC seeks the centre and state’s response for the release of Mr Khan who’s been lodged at the jail since the beginning of this year. The matter will be further considered on 19 August 2020.
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