Jammu and Kashmir government today said jails in the Kashmir valley were overcrowded and cited it as a reason for not shifting senior Hurriyat conference leader Shabir Ahmad Shah from a prison in Kathua to the Central jail in Srinagar.
The state filed a Leave Petition Application (LPA) before a division bench of the high court yesterday challenging the
single bench court's order to shift 56-year-old Shah.
Justice Yaqoob Mir had directed the authorities on February 26 to shift the detainee following an application
filed by Shah's wife Bilquees.
The additional Advocate General A R Magray submitted before the court of Justice Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain and Justice
Hasnain Masoodi that the detainee had been lodged at Kathua jail, where every medical facility was available to him. He
said the weather at Kathua is warmer, which is conducive to his health.
Objecting to the state counsel's contention, Shah's counsel advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom argued "the assertion that
medical facilities are available to the detainee are wrong. He was not provided medical facility even when he was brought to Jammu medical college for treatment some days ago.
Quoting the Justice A K Roy judgement of the Supreme Court, Qayoom said "as a general rule the detainees need to be lodged nearer to their residence.
However, while justifying the lodgment of the detainee away from home, an exception has to be carved out but it
should not be arbitrary and malafide".