The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the Allahabad HC order of September 1, 2020, which sets aside Khan’s detention under NSA, 1980. A three-judge judge bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said that it can’t see any reason to interfere in it. However, other criminal cases filed against him will be decided on their own merit.
The appeal was filed by Uttar Pradesh Government over the HC order which noted that the speech of Dr. Khan during the anti-CAA protests, didn’t instigate violence or hatred rather it was a call for national integrity and unity.
The order of Dr. Khan’s detention under the National Security Act, 1980 was passed by the District Magistrate, Aligarh, and was confirmed by UP Government on 13 February 2020. Aggrieved by this, a Writ Petition was filed by the mother of Dr. Khan, Nuzhat Perween in the Allahabad HC praying to quash the order of the detention.
The Allahabad HC in its judgment noticed that they have no hesitation in admitting that both the order of detention and extension of detention are unsustainable in law.
“…we are having no hesitation in concluding that neither detention of Dr. Kafeel Khan under National Security Act, 1980 nor extension of the detention are sustainable in the eye of law”
The Allahabad High Court had found that Dr. Khan’s speech
“does not disclose any effort to promote hatred or violence. It also nowhere threatens the peace and tranquillity of the city of Aligarh. The address gives a call for national integrity and unity among the citizens. The speech also deprecates any kind of violence.”
The High Court in its judgment also noted that Dr. Kafeel Khan was not given the proper opportunity to represent himself against the detention neither he was given the transcript of his own speech based on which he was detained. This, in the view of the court, was a violation of his Fundamental Right enshrined under Part (iii) of the Indian Constitution.
The Bench of Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh quashed the order of detention. “Such non-supply of material violates a precious fundamental right of a detenue enshrined under Article 22 of the Constitution. On this count also the detention of Dr. Kafeel Khan deserves to be set aside” the Court said while quashing the order of detaining Dr. Kafeel Khan under NSA, 1980 over his speech.
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