New Delhi, July 29 : The Supreme Court on Wednesday closed the habeas corpus petition filed by senior Congress leader and former Union minister Saifuddin Soz’s wife challenging his detention order. The Jammu & Kashmir administration informed the top court that Soz was not placed under detention.
A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Vineet Saran and M R Shah disposed the plea stating that the counter affidavit filed by the Jammu & Kashmir administration said that there was no restriction on Soz’s movements.
“The averments in the present petition, in respect to house arrest/detention of Prof Saifuddin Soz are false, frivolous and baseless, as he has not been detained at all, let alone under the provisions of Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act, as alleged in the petition under reply”, said the J&K administration.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Soz, argued on the contradictory stand of the government. Singhvi insisted that one fine day in August, the government put him under detention, and in the counter affidavit said he is not under detention.
Justice Mishra replied that the affidavit stated that he had travelled outside of J&K. Singhvi contended that his client was not well, and he had only travelled for medical reasons. “It is submitted that the petitioner has attempted to mislead this court by placing unsubstantiated and wrong facts of his alleged detention before this court….it is respectfully submitted that no restriction whatsoever has ever been imposed on the movement of Prof Soz, who is a categorised protectee”, said the counter affidavit.
The bench said in view of the reply filed, the plea is disposed of. “We will not entertain it any further”, said the top court.
The affidavit added, “It is further submitted that there is no restriction on any guests to visit his house subject to proper identification, checking and frisking as per security norms, in case of a category protectee, by the access control security deployed at his residence.”
Soz’s wife, Mumtazunnisa Soz, in the plea had said 10 months have passed since his first detention, and he is yet to be informed of his grounds of detention. Soz’s wife said her husband has always advocated for the Union of India and consistently upheld the constitutional principles, respect for the nation and vehemently opposed separatist or anti-India voices in Jammu & Kashmir.
Soz’s wife in the petition said her husband’s detention is wholly contrary and perverse to the constitutional safeguards laid down under Article 21 and 22 of the Constitution, as well as the law on preventive detention. She insisted that her husband has consistently demonstrated an unwavering loyalty to the Constitution even in the face of separatist threats, and therefore cannot be considered by any stretch of imagination to be a threat to public safety.
“Not only does it attract the vice of unconstitutionality, it is also in stark contravention of the statutory scheme of the Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 under which the detention has purportedly been made”, argued the plea, urging the top court to quash Soz’s detention.
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