Dr Kafeel Khan cleared of NSA charges; Allahabad High Court orders his immediate release
Khan has been in jail since 29 January, when he was arrested for an anti-CAA speech he delivered at Aligarh Muslim University on 12 December, 2019
The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday revoked the National Security Act (NSA) charges against Gorakhpur doctor Kafeel Khan, and asked the state government to release him immediately.
As per LiveLaw, the order came after the doctor’s mother, Nuzhat Parween, filed a habeas corpus plea, alleging that her son was detained illegally.
According to The Print.in, the judgment was delivered by a bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh, who said that the speech for which he was detained “prima facie does not disclose any effort to promote hatred or violence”.
The high court also said that the government order extending Khan's detention was illegal. Khan is currently lodged in a Mathura jail.
“The extension of the period of detention of detenuee Dr Kafeel Khan is also declared illegal,” the order said, according to Bar and Bench. “A writ in the nature of habeas corpus is hereby issued to release Dr Kafeel Khan, the detenue from State custody forthwith.”
Dr Kafeel Khan's plea against detention has been allowed by a Division Bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Fatal Singh of the Allahabad High Court. #kafeelkhan pic.twitter.com/PAaoroQIHw
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) September 1, 2020
Quoting the high court order, The Quint report said:
“No doubt, some part of the phrases used in the grounds for detention are there in speech, but apparently in different context. The speaker was certainly opposing the policies of the government and while doing so certain illustration are given by him, but that no where reflects the eventualities demanding detention.”
Under the NSA, people can be detained without a charge for up to 12 months if authorities are satisfied that they are a threat to national security or law and order.
Khan has been in jail since 29 January, when he was arrested for an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) speech he delivered at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on 12 December, 2019. The NSA charges were invoked against him on 13 February, 2020, on the orders of the Aligarh District Magistrate. On 16 August, his detention under NSA was extended for the second time by three months.
Khan had earlier hit the headlines after the 2017 tragedy at Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College, where he worked as a pediatrician, in which several kids died due to lack of oxygen cylinders. Though he was later given a clean chit in a departmental probe, the government did not reinstate him.
With inputs from agencies
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