NC’s Mustafa Kamaal, ANC President, Her Deputy Not Under House Arrest: Govt Informs High Court

Srinagar, Oct 23: The state government on Wednesday informed J&K High Court that it has not put under house arrest National Conference leader, Mustafa Kamaal and Awami Awami National Conference President Khalida Shah and her deputy Muzaffar Shah, Greater Kashmir reported today.

The three leaders petitioned the Court through advocate Muhammad Shafi Mir, pleading they have been detained and kept under house arrest “unlawfully” since August 5, the day government of India abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories.

The trio contended that their detention has been made “without any just cause or reason violating with impunity their fundamental rights guaranteed under Constitution of India.”

“Our liberty has been curbed and jeopardized” the petitioners have said.

Kamaal is brother of National Conference President, Farooq Abdullah who has been jailed under Public Safety Act. Khalida Shah who took over as President of ANC after death of her husband GM Shah is sister of Abdullah. Muzaffar Shah is Khalida’s son.

While on September 12 the Court admitted the petition for hearing and issued notices to the authorities concerned, it granted one week’s time to the government on October 15 for filing response.

When the petition came up for hearing before the bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey, the Court directed senior additional advocate general, Bashir Ahmad Dar to seek instructions in the case by afternoon.

When the matter came up for hearing again, government advocate Rais-ud-Din Ganai who appeared vice Dar told the Court that the petitioners have not been put under house arrest.

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Ganai produced two communications in this regard – one dated October 21 addressed by Senior Superintendent of Police Srinagar to Inspector General of Police Kashmir and other dated October 23, addressed by additional deputy commissioner Srinagar to senior additional advocate general Dar.

Ganai told the Court that in view of the stand taken by the government on the communications, the petitions require to be dismissed.

After hearing the parties, the bench observed that in keeping with the contention of government advocate and the communications produced, the Court is satisfied that the instant petition was unnecessary and as such liable to be dismissed.

The Court however observed that before proceeding in the matter it was just and proper to give one opportunity to the counsel for the petitioners to respond to the communications produced by the government advocate.

The Court listed the petition for hearing on October 29.

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