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SC refuses to interfere in relief granted to Kafeel Khan by HC

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In a major loss of face for the Uttar Pradesh government, the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere with the Allahabad High Court judgment setting aside the detention of Dr Kafeel Khan who was arrested under the stringent National Security Act (NSA).

Hailing the high court’s verdict as a “good judgment”, the apex court bench headed by Justice SA Bobde said, “We will not interfere in the judgment. However, the observation will not impact any other proceedings.”

Notably, the Uttar Pradesh government had moved the Supreme Court against the high court’s verdict in favour of Kafeel Khan.

The state government, through solicitor general Tushar Mehta, contended before the apex court that the high court’s observations exonerate Kafeel Khan in the criminal proceedings. The bench, also comprising of Justice AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, said that criminal cases will be decided on their own merits.

HC relief for Kafeel Khan

The Allahabad High Court had on September 1 gave a major relief to Dr Kafeel Khan booked under the stringent National Security Act (NSA). It ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure the immediate release of Kafeel Khan and the dropping of NSA charges against him.

The court called his detention illegal. It remarked that his speech does not show any effort to promote hate or violence.

Khan was booked under the National Security Act (NSA) and arrested from Mumbai in January. He was arrested for his alleged provocative speech at Aligarh Muslim University in December 2019 during the anti-CAA protests.

The FIR filed on December 13, 2019, says Khan made an attempt to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere at the university. It also alleges that he disturbed communal harmony.

The paediatrician had earlier faced arrest following the deaths of over 60 children in a week at a government hospital in UP’s Gorakhpur in 2017.

About two years later, a state government probe cleared Khan of all major charges.

 

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