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Justice Sanjeev Kumar of State high Court on Wednesday disposed off petition filed by Safia Khan, daughter of former Chief Minister Dr. Farooq Abdullah, challenging restriction imposed on them.
After hearing Advocate General D.C Raina, the court disposed off the petition with the observations that from the documents placed on record by the Advocate General and the statement which he made in the open Court, this Court is satisfied that no further proceedings are required in this petition. “This petition is, accordingly, disposed off. It shall, however, be open for petitioners to approach this Court again if at any time they feel that their statutory and Constitutional rights are being violated”, the court held.
Safia Khan has submitted that she and her husband are peace loving citizens and not involved in any criminal offence, yet they have not been allowed to move out of their house since August 5, 2019. It is claimed that even their kids have not been allowed to come out of their house and as such their movement has been unnecessarily and without any justification restricted. The petitioners also claimed that they do not belong to any political party nor have they indulged in any activity which may warrant their illegal confinement. The petitioner claimed that she is also suffering from certain ailments and therefore requires constant medical attention and medicines. In the backdrop of this grievance, petitioners seek a direction to respondents to remove the police barricade erected outside main gate of their residential house viz. 41 – Gupkar Road, Srinagar and also to allow their free movement as law abiding citizens of this country.
Justice Sanjeev Kumar observed that when this matter came up for consideration on August 16, 2019, Advocate General DC Raina made a statement at Bar that as per his instructions, the petitioners have neither been arrested nor detained. He, however, submitted that in larger interests of maintenance of public order as also to ensure security of the petitioners, there are reasonable restrictions imposed on their movement. Advocate General further pointed out that such restrictions are imposed in different parts of the City in the larger interest of maintenance of public order and to safeguard the life and property of peaceful citizens. He was, however, asked by this Court to seek appropriate instructions and ensure that medical facilities, if required, be provided to petitioners and they be permitted to make necessary purchases of eatables and other essentials.
When the matter taken-up today, Advocate General submitted a report prepared by Special Secretary to Government, Department of Home, which, at request, is taken on record.
Justice Sanjeev Kumar after perusal of report observed that a team comprising Additional Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, and Moin Kakroo, Naib Tehsildar, accompanied by two Medical Officers, namely, Dr. Neelofer and Dr. Rakshanda, visited the residence of petitioners on August 16, 2019 for medical check-up and examined the requirements of any diagnostic/ medical assistance. The petitioner was offered the medical check-up and diagnostic assistance/medicines, which she declined. The report further indicated that Ishaq Qadri, senior Advocate, appearing for petitioners was also informed by police station Ram Munshi Bagh through SI Mohd Sultan, to meet petitioners at their Gupkar residence. When confronted with the aforesaid report of respondents, presented to the court by the Advocate General, Qadri submitted that he got a message from concerned police and he could not meet petitioners due to his personal difficulty.
Justice Sanjeev Kumar after hearing both the sides observed that be that as it may the fact remains that the purpose for which the writ petition was filed, has been served. “The medical assistance was offered to petitioners. The team comprising aforesaid officials was also deputed to the residence of petitioners. As stated by Advocate General and reiterated today as well, that petitioners have neither been arrested nor is there any unreasonable restriction put on their movement and they are free to come out of their residential house. They are subject to such restrictions which are imposed by the Government with respect to all citizens in the wake of apprehended law and order situation in the Valley”, the court observed adding that they are free as any other citizen of the State and disposed of the petition.