The Uttar Pradesh government has approached the Supreme Court, seeking to challenge the Allahabad High Court’s order quashing the detention of Dr Kafeel Khan under the National Security Act, Live Law reported on Saturday. The Adityanath-led government filed a special leave petition on October 26, and the matter is to be listed before the Supreme Court on December 17.
In September, the Allahabad High Court had revoked the charges under the National Security Act against Khan. He had been in custody since January 29 for making allegedly inflammatory remarks during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act at the Aligarh Muslim University in December last year. The court in its order had said that Khan’s speech did not “disclose any effort to promote hatred or violence” and had termed the three extensions of his detention as illegal.
The plea, which has also been joined by the Central government, claimed that Khan has a history of committing various offences, which have led to disciplinary actions, his suspension from service, registration of First Information Reports against him and the invocation of National Security Act, The Leaflet reported.
Referring to the speech Khan delivered at the Aligarh Muslim University, the petition contended that he ignored orders regarding imposition of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code. It said that Khan delivered a provocative speech near the Bab-e-Syed Gate of the University with an attempt to disturb the law and order in Aligarh by inciting Muslim students against other communities, The Leaflet reported.
“Had the violent student not been talked to stopped, this crowd would have disturbed the public order and the communal harmony of the district by entering Aligarh city,” the Uttar Pradesh government said. The plea also stated that Khan’s detention was based on the subjective satisfaction of the district magistrate of Aligarh and the same was not opened for examination by the Allahabad High Court.
Responding to the petition, Khan in an email said that he had left Uttar Pradesh immediately after coming out of prison on September 1, since the reason cited for his detention under the NSA was that he could go to Aligarh upon his release, creating a law and order situation.
Khan said that since his release, he has written three letters to the state government asking to be reinstated in his post at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital in Gorakhpur, but has received no response.
Khan was a pediatrician at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital in Gorakhpur, when 63 children died in 2017 due to lack of oxygen. He was suspended from his post and jailed for nine months after a criminal case of medical negligence, corruption and dereliction of duty was filed against him. But an Uttar Pradesh government inquiry last year cleared him of all charges and instead lauded his actions to save lives during the crisis.