SRINAGAR, Jan 5: A subordinate court has extended judicial remand of the senior separatist leader Masarat Alam Bhat by days.
A spokesman of the Muslim League told Kashmir Times that Bhat is lodged in Kot Balwal jail and was produced before the court by police where his judicial remand was extended by two more days.
“Earlier he was sent to five days judicial remand by a court till January 5 and now that remand has been extended upto January 7,” he said.
He said that Police filed charges against Bhat under 149/107 shortly after the High Court quashed his detention under Public Safety Act.
On December 30, 2015, a day after the High Court quashed his detention order under Public Safety Act (PSA), the police re-arrested Bhat who is in jail since April 2015 for committing the alleged anti national activities.
The senior separatist leader who is also known for his proximity with the Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani was re-arrested outside Kot Bhalwal Jail after he was released on the High Court orders.
“Masrat Alam was re-arrested late last evening outside Kot Bhalwal Jail,” a senior police officer has been quoted by a national news agency.
Masarat was arrested under the PSA on April 17, 2015 in Srinagar after he organised and led a rally to receive Geelani. Pakistani flags were allegedly hoisted at this rally, following which the present dispensation led by PDP in the state came under severe criticism for releasing Masarat from detention within days of its formation.
In August 2015, Justice Hasnain Masoodi had quashed Alam’s detention under the PSA, but authorities re-arrested him immediately after complying with the court order.
Police had registered a case against several separatist leaders, including Masarat and Geelani, for provocative activities including hoisting of Pakistani flag.
An FIR under Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, relevant sections of the Ranbir Penal Code was registered in Budgam police station against Masarat and other separatist leaders.
On August 27, 2015, while terming preventive detention as “undemocratic and repugnant to rule of law”, the High Court had said the maximum period of detention under preventive is 12 months and its life cannot be extended beyond such period for any reason whatsoever.
The observations were made by Justice Hasnain Masoodi, who had disposed of a petition and quashed detention order against Masrat.
In his judgment, Justice Masoodi had said: “Preventive detention is undemocratic and repugnant to rule of law. It violates fundamental principal of criminal jurisprudence, providing for resumption of innocence of accused till he is proved guilty on a fair and transparent trial. It not only runs contrary to constitutional ethos but also bruises the Gandhian thought that forms weft and warp of our socio-political fabric.”
According to this judgment, constitution of India does not directly provide for preventive detention but leaves room for a law providing for such detentions. “The purpose is that whenever such a law is enacted it goes through legislative filtration and every effort is made to make it as far as possible fair, just and reasonable for detenu held in custody without trial and at least safeguards guaranteed under Article 22, 2015 get reflected in such law,”
Justice Masoodi has remarked that it is necessary that whenever detention order is made, the court called upon to examine it, is alive to fact that step taken by detaining authority is an extraordinary step curtailing liberty of detune and therefore, is to pass strict test of total conformity with constitutional and statutory mandate.
“Preventive detention law is not to overlook different facets of right to life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21,” Justice Masoodi has said, adding that in other words even if a person is placed under preventive detention on a suspicion that in the event he is not so detained, he may indulge in activities prejudicial to security of the state or public order, he does not get denuded of all his rights.
2015 Kashmir Despatch