SC dismisses plea against Kafeel Khan's detention order

SC dismisses UP govt's plea against quashing of detention of Dr Kafeel Khan

Khan was detained under the stringent law in connection with his alleged inflammatory speech during anti CAA-NPR-NRC protest

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Photo

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a plea by the Uttar Pradesh government against September 1 order by the Allahabad High Court, quashing detention of Dr Kafeel Khan under the stringent National Security Act.

A bench presided over by Chief Justice S A, however, clarified that the HC order on preventive detention won't impact criminal cases and those would be decided on their own merits.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the UP government, contended that the HC had substituted subjective satisfaction of the district magistrate.

The bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, however, said, "it seems to be a good order".

"We see no reason to interfere with the HC order. But the observations will not affect the prosecution on criminal cases," the court said, dismissing the petition filed by the state government.

Khan was detained under the stringent law after he was granted bail by Aligarh court on February 10 in connection with his alleged inflammatory speech during anti CAA-NPR-NRC protest.

In its plea, the Yogi Adityanath government contended the speech delivered by Khan on December 13, 2019 in AMU campus had provoked students to march towards the city, which might have created a law and order problem and disturb the communal harmony.

Justifying his detention, the state government claimed Khan had a history of committing various offences, resulting into disciplinary action and suspension from service, lodging of FIRs and imposition of the NSA.

Khan was a lecturer at department of Paediatrics at B R D Medical College in Gorakhpur, where over 60 children had died within a week in August, 2017 due to Japanese encephalitis and many reportedly for want of oxygen whose supply was disrupted after bills were not paid to the vendor. He was then arrested for his alleged negligent role and suspended from the hospital.