On 7 February, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court has dismissed a habeas corpus petition under the Public Safety Act which challenged the preventive detention of Senior Advocate and J&K High Court Bar Association President Mian Abdul Qayoom. He was under detention since 5 August, as the Central Government implemented the abrogation of the special status which was provided to the J&K under Article 370 of the Constitution of India.
Senior Advocate Z A Shah, appearing for the petitioner through the present plea challenged the detention on the ground that the order was passed by the District Magistrate without proper application of mind and further contended that the grounds of detention were ‘vague, indefinite, uncertain, and baseless as also ambiguous and lack in material particulars and essential details.’ He further submitted that the detention order mentioned activities of 2008 and 2010, for which he was detained in 2010 itself. Those materials cannot be cited to repeat a detention order.
The bench headed by Justice Tashi Rabstan dismissed the plea challenging Qayoom’s detention and stated that “Preventive detention is not punitive and is resorted to with a view to preventing a person from committing activities regarded as prejudicial to certain objects that the law of preventive detention seeks to prescribe.”
The bench held that there were sufficient materials to show subjective the satisfaction of the authorities with regard to Qayoom’s detention and that the same was carried out following the procedure under the J&K Public Safety Act of 1978.
“Preventive detention is based on suspicion or anticipation and not on proof,” stated Justice Rabstan. He further added that there was a limited scope under Article 226 of the Constitution to review a detaining order and held that subjective satisfaction of a detaining authority to detain a person or not is not open to objective assessment by a Court.
The court quoted Greek thinker Sophocles and said: “Law can never be enforced unless fear supports them.”