‘Illegal’: Allahabad High Court Quashes NSA against Six Muslims Detained Over CAA Protests

illegal

The residents of Mau in UP were released on 2 September 2021 after completing their NSA detention tenure of one year

Zafar Aafaq 

NEW DELHI – The Allahabad High Court on Friday quashed the National Security Act (NSA) against six Muslim men who were booked in connection with cases related to violence during Anti-CAA protests in the Dakishintola area of Mau in Uttar Pradesh in December 2019.

They were detained in September 2020.

 

The court rendered the detention orders illegal on the grounds that the rights of the detainees to be informed about the grounds of detention and given the opportunity to make representation – mandatory under Article 22 (5) of the NSA – have not been adhered to by the state government.

The six men who got a clean chit from the High Court are: Amir Shabbir, Shahryar, Abdul Wahab, Asif Chandan, Anas and Faizan. Though they were released on 2 September 2021 after completing their NSA detention tenure of one year, their lawyer Nazrul Islam Jafri said the clean chit from court is significant for the six men that the detention history cannot be used as a rider against them in future.

The double bench of Justices Sadhna Rani and Sunita Agarwal said in the order that detaining authority could not explain the delay in forwarding the representation before the state government and the explanation given by state government was not sufficient.

The strict provisions of the NSA, crucial to the liberty of persons, have to be strictly complied with and delay caused by callous attitude of the authorities in obeying deadlines, if unexplained, cannot be condoned, the court observed in its order quashing the NSA.

The bench further said that the detention order issued by the District Magistrate, Mau, was not based on objective criteria and application of independent mind and proceeded to record his stratification without verification of the statement made in the reports of the police. “The flaw in the decision-making process while recording satisfaction by the detaining authority without verification of the information supplied to it makes the whole process illegal,” the court order noted.

Amir Shabbir, 26, a businessman who owns a shop of Banarsi Sarees in Mau, was among those detained under NSA. He rejected the allegation of indulging in violence during anti-CAA protests that erupted in Mau on 16 December 2020. “I did not take part in protests that turned violent. I was framed wrongly,” Shabbir said while speaking with Clarion India. “Like everyone else, I also took part in protests against Citizenship Amendment Act but it was all peaceful.”

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