The Allahabad High Court on Friday directed Uttar Pradesh officials to immediately release 69 Samajwadi Party workers detained under various preventive laws if they were not wanted in any other case.
The Lucknow bench of the high court directed executive magistrates and assistant commissioners of police concerned not to insist upon the detenues filing sureties.
The court directed the state government to file counter affidavit in the matter within four weeks, after which it would consider granting compensation to the detenues.
A bench of justices D K Upadhyay and Saroj Yadav passed the order on a writ petition moved by the state president of UP Samajwadi Party Adhivakta Sabha.
The petitioner's lawyers B M Sahai and Santosh Yadav Warsi contended that on December 14, the detenues were protesting in support of farmers' agitation at Qaiserbagh Baradari here. The police arrested them from the site and took them to Eco Garden Park, Alambagh, and later confined them in Lucknow district jail.
"The 69 detenues have not been presented before the judicial magistrate till date while the police could not detain them for more than 24 hours without presenting them in the court and as such the detention is wholly illegal and they must be released immediately," the petitioner's lawyers argued.
"Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, we direct that all the detenues shall be permitted to furnish personal bond as required by the executive magistrate by tomorrow itself before the authority concerned and they shall accordingly be released unless wanted in some other case," the bench directed.