Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court
on Tuesday directed state government to reconsider lodging
President of Kashmir Bar Association Mian Qayoom, arrested
under stringent Public Safety Act, in a jail in Jammu region.
Hearing a petition filed by the Bar Association pleading
for shifting of Qayoom to Kashmir, Justice Hakim Imtiyaz
Hussain allowed the application and said "it is directed that
the government shall reconsider the lodgment of the detenue in
light of the law laid down by the Supreme Court..."
Jammu and Kashmir police arrested Qayoom under PSA and
sent him to Hiranagar Prison in Jammu for two years.
The state police has launched a major crackdown against
mischief-makers throughout the Valley and Qayoom was alleged
to be one of the main conspirators.
The state had objected to shifting of Qayoom to central
jail in Srinagar on two counts -- the prison is full and there
is a heavy presence of hard-core militants in the jail.
The Judge, however, said it was "not clear from the
objections on record" why the state government did not
consider lodging the detenue (Qayoom) at Kupwara, in North
In his 18-page order, Justice Hussain cited two cases,
including that of separatist leader Shabir Ahmed Shah in which
the Division bench of the High Court had held that the court
cannot direct the respondents (government) to change lodging
of the detenue but it can only direct them to consider the
He also cited the judgement in a case in which the
Supreme Court had said the normal rule has to be that the
detenue will be kept in detention in a place which is within
the environs of his or her ordinary places of residence. Only
in exceptional cases, he or she can be placed at any other
"I find lodgment of the detenue at Hiranagar cannot be
justified so the matter regarding lodgment of the detenue
needs reconsideration by the government," the order said.
Justice Hussain, who had reserved its order last week,
said "the government must examine the aspects and take a just
and proper decision on the issue. While doing so, government
should also keep in mind the observations of the apex court
that whatever smacks of punishment must be scrupulously
avoided in matters of preventive detentions."