Supreme Court of India.
Supreme Court of India.

SC issues notice to J-K govt over detention of former Union Minister Saifuddin Soz

ANI | Updated: Jun 08, 2020 15:01 IST

New Delhi [India], June 8 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to Jammu and Kashmir government on a plea filed by the wife of former Union Minister Saifuddin Soz seeking the release of her husband who has been under house arrest since August 2019.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra sought response from Jammu and Kashmir government and posted the matter for hearing in the second week of July.
Challenging the detention order passed by the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Mumtazunnisa Soz had filed habeas corpus petition in the apex court for the production of her husband before the court.
The petition, filed through advocate Sunil Fernandes, said that Soz was informed of his house arrest by the security guards of his house situated at Shehjar, Srinagar on the morning of August 5, 2019, when the Union of India passed a Presidential Order revoking the special status of the (erstwhile) State of Jammu and Kashmir granted under the Constitution of India.
Seeking quashing of the detention order, the plea said that ten months have passed since his detention started, and he is yet to be informed of his grounds of detention.
"All efforts by him to obtain a copy of the detention order(s) have been of no avail due to the illegal, arbitrary exercise of powers by Jammu and Kashmir government. His detention is wholly contrary and perverse to the constitutional safeguards laid down under Article 21 and 22 of the Constitution of India, as well as the law on preventive detention. The detention is also in stark contravention of the statutory scheme of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, under which the detention has purportedly been made," the plea said.
It said that Prof Saifuddin Soz is an octogenarian, a former MP, and a law-abiding peaceful Indian citizen."He has not committed any breach of peace, neither has he disturbed the public tranquillity nor is he likely to do any wrongful act that will occasion a breach of the peace or cause any disturbance of public tranquillity," the plea said.
"However, Prof Soz has been detained and put under house arrest since August 2019 and the reasons for detention and arrest have never been informed till date, thereby making his detention not only illegal, malafide and unconstitutional but also extremely appalling," it added.
The petition claimed that the authority making the orders of detention did not communicate to Soz the grounds on which the orders have been made and no copy of the detention order was provided despite repeated attempts.
It said that Soz was denied the right to make a representation against the orders of detention in flagrant abuse of constitutional guidelines as well as the statutory scheme.
Several leaders in the region were put under detention when the Centre decided to revoke Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that conferred special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. (ANI)