Former bureaucrat Shah Faesal on Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that the lookout circular issued against him was a “completely malafide exercise of power” and was not based on reasonable grounds, PTI reported. Faesal was stopped at Delhi Airport and sent back to Srinagar where has been under detention since August 14.

“It must be stated that the issuance of an LOC [Look Out Circular] against the petitioner [Faesal] is a highly suspect exercise for which no reasonable ground is made out,” the bureaucrat-turned-politician’s rejoinder said. “The issuance of the present LOC is therefore prima facie a completely malafide exercise of power.” Faesal also alleged that no copy of the said circular was provided to him and that the Jammu and Kashmir administration had not even mentioned the circular’s contents in its reply to his habeas corpus petition.

The Jammu and Kashmir government, on August 27, had told the High Court that Faesal had been detained for trying to instigate people at the Srinagar airport against the “sovereignty and integrity of the country”. It had also said that his custody was not unauthorised as the detention was under an order from an executive magistrate.

A bench of Justices Manmohan and Sangeeta Dhingra posted the matter for hearing on September 12 as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the central government, was unavailable.

Faesal also opposed to the state government’s objection over the jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court to entertain the plea, and said that he had been detained at the New Delhi airport and forcefully taken to Srinagar, which clearly made out the court’s jurisdiction. The submission, which was made on the former bureaucrat’s behalf, said that he was illegally detained at the Delhi airport and was not made aware of any grounds of the action taken against him.

“It is, therefore, clear that at the time of his illegal detention at Delhi airport, there were no legal grounds for stopping him from travelling to Harvard University,” the rejoinder said, according to PTI.

On Faesal’s claim that he was going to the United States to pursue his academic career, the state government had said, in its response, that he did not have a student visa. However, the politician contended that personal liberty and the right to travel overseas was granted under the Indian Constitution. He also said that any visa-related matters were within the purview of the country’s government where he was travelling.

Apart from the habeas corpus petition, Faesal had also filed an application seeking a copy of the lookout notice against him. A day later, the Delhi High Court had asked the Centre to respond to the plea and asked for a response on or before September 2.

On August 14, Faesal was detained at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and sent back to Kashmir, where he was held again at a makeshift detention centre at a hotel in Srinagar. Faesal was detained under the Public Safety Act.

He moved the Delhi High Court saying he was illegally detained when he was on his way to study in the United States. Faesal had alleged that officials did not get a transit remand before they had illegally taken him back to Srinagar.

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