Even after J&K High Court on Friday termed the detention of human rights activist Khurram Parvez under Public Safety Act “not only illegal” but “abuse of power” and ordered the state government to release him, Parvez continues to be in prison. The reason: a minor error in the order concerning the date of the issue of the PSA warrant.
Superintendent of Kotbalwal Jail, Dinesh Sharma, told The Indian Express that “there was a minor clerical mistake in the (Court) order and we will release him (Parvez) as soon as it is rectified”. When contacted Director General of Prisons S K Mishra told The Indian Express that he can’t comment because he hasn’t received any order. “As soon as the jail authorities receive the order, they would release (him),” he said. J&K’s Home Secretary R K Goel said “I haven’t received any order,’’ he said.
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“The High Court order hasn’t just ordered his release, it has questioned the detention itself,’’ a close relative of Parvez told The Indian Express. “We have been waiting for his release since Friday when the court order was issued. Today, jail authorities told us that they cannot release him because there is a minor error in the order,” he said, adding that “at one place in the (Court) order, the date of the issue of the PSA warrant against him (Parvez) has been put as September 19 instead of September 21”.
He further said that “jail authorities called it a minor error but wanted the Home department to disregard this small issue and tell them to release him. That didn’t happen. Now we will have to approach the Court again to issue a fresh order to correct this error.” The PSA warrant was issued on September 21 while this warrant was based on a dossier of the SSP issued on September 19. The J&K High Court on Friday had quashed Parvez’s detention under PSA, saying that the detention order is “not only illegal but the Detaining Authority has abused its powers in ordering his detention” and ordered his release.
The J&K Police had picked up Parvez from his home in Srinagar on September 16, a day after he was disallowed to board a Geneva bound flight at Delhi as he was on his way to attend United Nations Human Rights Council session and was subsequently booked under PSA and imprisoned at Kotbalwal jail in Jammu.
Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar while ordering Parvez’s release had said that District Magistrate Srinagar Farooq Ahmad Lone has “arbitrarily” ordered his detention and “nothing is brought into the notice of the Court” to show that “involvement of the detenue (has) surfaced as an accused” in the FIRs mentioned in the grounds of detention. Parvez’s detention order “is not only illegal but the Detaining Authority has abused its powers in ordering his (Parvez’s) detention, the court had said.