The High Court Monday quashed five Public Safety Act (PSA) detentions on the grounds that detainees were not supplied with proper material, grouds of detention are vague and ambiguous, and insufficient evidence was brought on record before the court.
The court of Justice Tashi Rabstan while overturning five detention orders remarked that one irrelevant ground is sufficient to vitiate the order as it is not possible to assess, in what manner and to what extent, that irrelevant ground operated on the mind of the appropriate authority, and contributed to his satisfaction that it was necessary to detain the detenu in order to prevent him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of the public order.
Rabstan held that detention in preventive custody on the basis of such vague and ambiguous grounds of detention cannot be justified.
He observed that if one of the grounds or reasons, which led to the subjective satisfaction of the detaining authority, is non-existent or misconceived or irrelevant, the order of detention would be invalid.
The court quashed the detention orders of Mohammad Shafi Yatoo resident of Audoora area of district Baramulla - who was detained on February, 2, last year, Morifat Ahmad Mir of Kandoora area of district Budgam - who was arrested on May, 22, 2019, Mohamad Iqbal Dar, resident of Arreh area of Kulgam district - who was put behind bars on July, 4, last year, Sajad Ahmad Dar, hailing from Methan area of Chanapora, district Srinagar - who was booked under PSA on July, 10, last year and Mohammad Akram Najar of Bicherwa area of north Kashmir's Kupwara district who was detained on August, 10, 2016.
In the judgements, Rabstan noted that preventive detention is largely precautionary and is based on suspicion.
"The Court is ill-equipped to investigate into circumstances of suspicion on which such anticipatory action must be largely based," he stated in the judgement.
The court held that it becomes imperative on the part of detaining authority as well as executing authority to be very vigilant and keep their eyes skinned but not to turn a blind eye in securing detenu and executing detention order.
"Because any indifferent attitude on the part of detaining authority or executing authority will defeat the very purpose and aim of preventive detention and turn detention order as a dead letter and frustrate the entire proceedings," Rabstan remarked.
The court while disposing of the five petitions directed the authorities to immediately release the detainees, provided they are not required in any other case.