Orders Rs 5 lakh Compensation 

Srinagar: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh has asked government to pay Rs five lakh as compensation to former spokesperson of banned Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), Advocate Ali Mohammad Lone alias Zahid of Nehama, Pulwama, as it quashed 4th detention order in a row under Public Safety Act against  him.

“A quote by Laura Miller “The past is a very determined ghost, haunting every chance it gets” seems to be, though unsaid, but the underlying basis of the mindset of the Sr. Superintendent of Police Pulwama and the purported subjective satisfaction of District Magistrate Pulwama passed on even to the Govt. in the matter of subjecting the petitioner to suffer fourth time preventive detention in row following each other in the fashion as passing of baton amongst relay race runners,” a bench of Justice Rahul Bharti said.

“The petitioner has been made to suffer loss of his liberty for a cumulative period of more than 1080 days of preventive custody covered under the span of four detention orders in row from 2019 to ending March 2024,” the court said while quashing the PSA detention order dated 14 September 2022 against Lone. The latest preventive detention of the Lone, the court said, is “compounding the illegality attending the breach and violation of the petitioner’s fundamental right to personal liberty with impunity and that entitles him to compensation.” 

“Although the petitioner has claimed compensation of rupees twenty five lacs but this court holds that a compensation of rupees five lacs would meet the ends of justice,” the court said, adding, “Therefore besides holding and declaring the preventive detention of the petitioner illegal, also holds the petitioner entitled to compensation of rupees five lacs payable by the respondents within a period of three months from the date of this judgment.”

The court also directed The Superintendent of the Jail concerned, where Lone is being detained, to release him “free from his prison.”

Meanwhile, a bench of Justice Puneet Gupta quashed a detention order passed by District Magistrate Baramulla on 7 February 2023 against one Amir Ahmad Chana  of Azad Gunj area of the north Kashmir district. The court ordered his release from custody “provided he is not required in any other case.”

(Kashmir Observer)