India

Dr Kafeel Khan’s speech ‘a call for national Integrity’, says Allahabad HC, orders his immediate release

Srinagar: After examining the speech delivered by Dr Kafeel Khan at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on December 13, 2019 amid the anti-CAA protests, the Allahabad High Court (HC) on Tuesday ordered his immediate release and the dropping of stringent National Security Act (NSA) charges against him.

The speech had led to the arrest of Khan and detention under NSA over an alleged inflammatory speech by him against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

“A complete reading of the speech does not disclose any effort to promote hatred or violence. It also nowhere threatens peace and tranquility of the city of Aligarh,” the division of bench comprising of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Singh, stated today, according to a report by Live.law.

The bench, as per the report, stated that the district magistrate apparently has had a selective reading of the speech which has led to selective mention for few phrases from the speech and thus, drifting away from its true intent.

In accordance with the statements of judiciary, the NSA charges against Khan have been revoked keeping the confirmation of his detention by the State of Uttar Pradesh aside declaring the extension of the period of his detention illegal.

Khan was put behind bars while he was in Mumbai in January 2020 for the ‘provocative speech’ he was alleged of delivering in Aligarh. He’d been granted bail in February but due to the NSA act, he was put behind the bars again.

The court claimed that the state authorities have not been able to discharge their “bounden burden” to establish that the speech delivered by Khan had an effect on the public order.

Further, the court, throwing light upon the nuances of the case and the laws said that Khan was not given the grounds for his detention and therefore, he was not allowed to have the material necessary to submit a representation as per the clause (5) of Article 22 of the constitution of India.

He was only given a compact disk to which the Court reacted saying that “the non-supply of transcript would have been of no consequence, if a device would have been supplied to the detenue to play the compact disk.”

The bench stated that the absence of this device rendered the supply of the compact disk as non-consequential.

Further, they stated that on the basis of clause (5) of Article 22 of the constitution, technically, Khan was deprived of the material necessary to submit his representation which results in the violation of a fundamental right of a detenue given by the constitution.

Meanwhile, a congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, hailed the court’s directive quashing the detention of Khan and hoped that the government of Uttar Pradesh will immediately release him “without any malice”.

“The Allahabad High Court today ordered the removal of NSA and immediate release of Dr Kafeel Khan,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet.

“It is expected that the UP government will release Dr. Kafeel Khan without any malice,” she said. The Congress leader added that she also congratulates all the “justice loving people” and party workers in the state who had been making efforts for Khan’s release.

 

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