The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by Jammu and Kashmir Congress leader Saifuddin Soz’s wife, challenging his “illegal detention” as the government claimed that he was free, Live Law reported.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, MR Shah and Vineet Saran said that it would not entertain the petition since the Jammu and Kashmir administration had filed a counter-affidavit stating that no restriction had been imposed on Soz’s movement.
Senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Soz, told the court that the government was contradicting itself on his detention. “One fine day you put me under detention and in their [government] counter, they say that I am not under detention,” Singhvi quoted Soz in court.
The top court pointed out that Soz had travelled outside Jammu and Kashmir but Singhvi said that he had only done so due to medical reasons.
Hours after the Supreme Court dismissed his petition, Soz was seen lashing out at policemen posted outside his residence over not being allowed to speak to the media, in a video shared by NDTV. “The police are stopping me and the government is telling the Supreme Court that Soz is free,” he said. “Show the Supreme Court that I am not being allowed out.”
“The government has resorted to falsehood as it had unlawfully incarcerated me since August 5, 2019,” Soz told the news channel. “All this while I was not allowed to move out of my premises.”
“Whenever I went out of my premises since August 5, 2019, I had to obtain permission from the government,” he added. “Now I have decided to sue the government for my unlawful house arrest since August 5, 2019. I will further sue the government for compensation for the incarceration and illegal suspension of civil liberties to which I am entitled under the Constitution.”
The Centre had abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution on August 5, imposed a curfew in the erstwhile state, and detained several important politicians. Apart from Soz, three former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir were also detained. The Public Safety Act was invoked against some of them. Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah were released in March. Mehbooba Mufti is still in detention.