Congress leader Saifuddin Soz is neither under arrest nor in detention, said Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal adding that he is free to go anywhere with the usual security drill.
Kansal said, “Saiffudin Soz former MP and Minister is neither under arrest nor detention. In the past few months, he has been to Delhi twice, in October and December. He is free to go wherever he likes with the usual security drill, being a protected person. There is no question of lying by the government.”
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi demanded that Soz must be released at once.”The illegal detention of political leaders with absolutely no basis damages the fabric of our nation. Mr Soz must be released at once,” Gandhi tweeted.
Kansal’s clarification came after, the Jammu and Kashmir administration submitted before the Supreme Court on Wednesday that Soz was neither detained nor put under house arrest after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5 last year
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, while hearing the habeas corpus plea of Soz’s wife Mumtazunnisa seeking her husband’s release, closed the matter saying in view of the affidavit filed by Jammu and Kashmir administration there is nothing left to examine further.
“We will not enter into it any further… We are disposing of the matter taking into account Jammu and Kashmir administration’s affidavit,” Justice Mishra said.In the affidavit, the Home department of Jammu and Kashmir denied the contentions of Soz’s wife and said that the former union minister was never under any kind of restraint and that he was always free to move.
Soz’s wife had approached the top court seeking the release of her husband who had allegedly been under house arrest since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019.
The petition had stated that Soz was informed of his house arrest by the security guards of his house situated at Shehjar, Srinagar in the morning of August 5, 2019, when the Union of India passed a Presidential Order revoking the status of the (erstwhile) State of Jammu and Kashmir granted under Article 370 and 35A of the Constitution of India.
Seeking quashing of the detention, the plea had said that ten months have passed since his first detention, and he is yet to be informed of his grounds of detention.The plea claimed that the authority making the orders of detention did not communicate to Soz the ground in which the orders have been made and no copy of the detention order was provided despite repeated attempt.
It said that Soz was denied the right to make a representation against the orders of detention in flagrant abuse of constitutional guidelines as well as the statutory scheme.