HC quashes PSA detention of Kashmir scribe
The police had arrested and booked Sajad Ahmad Dar alias Sajad Gul from Hajin in Bandipora after orders of district magistrate in January 2022
The high court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh has quashed the detention of Kashmir journalist Sajad Gul under the Public Safety Act after 22 months.
The police had arrested and booked Sajad Ahmad Dar alias Sajad Gul from Hajin in Bandipora after orders of district magistrate in January 2022. The journalist had allegedly uploaded a protest video of the family of a terrorist who was killed in an encounter with security forces. He was booked under the stringent PSA.
The order by chief justice N Kotishwar Singh and judge MA Chowdhary, announced last week but published later, stated that there was no specific allegation against Gul as to how his activities could be attributed to be prejudicial to the security of the state. It also set aside the order of single-judge bench passed on December 1, 2022.
“The detaining authority, itself, has admitted that the detenu, having done masters in journalism, was working as a journalist and it was his professional/ occupational duty to report the happenings in his area, even including the operations of the security forces. Such a tendency on the part of the detaining authority to detain the critics of the policies or commissions/ omissions of the government machinery, as in the case of the present detenu-a professional media person, in our considered opinion is an abuse of the preventive law,” the order said.
According to the government affidavit in court, Gul, a trainee reporter with The Kashmir Walla magazine, was charged with using social media as a tool to allegedly provoke people against government establishments, and he allegedly made controversial tweets and statements on social media and promoted enmity.
The court said that the grounds of detention nowhere suggest that he had filed or uploaded any false story.
“It is nowhere stated as to how the detenu had disrupted the public order creating any alleged enmity and there is no specific instance in any of the allegations levelled against him to show that he had been working against the national interests, so as to be prejudicial to the security of the State, “ the order stated.