Kashmiri bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal on Monday moved the Delhi High Court, challenging his detention at the Delhi airport last week. In his habeas corpus petition, Faesal said he was detained when he was about to board a flight to go to Harvard University in the United States to pursue his academic career, Hindustan Times reported.
Faesal also claimed that officials did not get a transit remand before illegally taking him back to Srinagar. The plea was urgently mentioned before a bench who asked the Centre to respond to it by Thursday and listed it for further hearing the next day.
On the request of the central government’s law officer, a formal notice was not issued by the court. However, the government said it would respond to the petition within two days.
Warisha Farasat, representing Faesal, said that the politician’s wife was allowed to meet him once and that he looked frail when she met him, according to Live Law. The lawyer also read out a letter of solidarity written by the Harvard alumni, who sought Faesal’s immediate release.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the central government, opposed the plea saying that Faesal had no direct knowledge of the events. He further said that the plea was based on hearsay.
The bench, comprised of Justices Manmohan and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, orally noted that Faesal’s wife should be allowed to meet him for an hour every day, to which the solicitor general agreed.
On August 14, Faesal was detained at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and sent back to Kashmir, where he was detained again at a makeshift detention centre at a hotel in Srinagar. Faesal was detained under the Public Safety Act, officials said, adding that he was intercepted before he could take a flight to Istanbul, which would connect him to London.
The politician has been vocal against the Centre’s move to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and had been expressing his dissent on social media.