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SC Dismisses UP Govt's Appeal Seeking Dr Kafeel Khan's Detention Under Stringent NSA

Dr Kafeel Khan after his release from the Mathura jail. (Image: News18)

Dr Kafeel Khan after his release from the Mathura jail. (Image: News18)

Dr Khan, a Gorakhpur-based lecturer, was arrested from Mumbai in January this year, over an allegedly “inflammatory” speech given on December 13 at the Aligarh Muslim University during one of the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019.

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal of the Uttar Pradesh government against the Allahabad High Court order quashing Dr Kafeel Khan’s detention under the National Security Act (NSA).

The BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh government had filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the HC’s September 1 verdict.

Back on September 1, the Allahabad High Court quashed the detention order and allowed the habeas corpus petition filed by Dr Khan’s mother, Nuzhat Perween.

Dr Khan, a Gorakhpur-based lecturer, was arrested from Mumbai in January this year, over an allegedly “inflammatory” speech given on December 13 at the Aligarh Muslim University during one of the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019.

He was then slapped with charges under the stringent National Security Act, 1980 for "disturbing public order in the city and creating an atmosphere of fear and insecurity within the citizens of Aligarh".

On June 1, Perween moved a habeas corpus petition before the Allahabad High Court after the apex court refused to intervene in the matter, stating that High Court is a more "appropriate forum".

Dr Khan walked out of jail in early September after the Allahabad High Court quashed his detention under the National Security Act and ordered his immediate release.

Earlier, the court declared that the extension of his detention as illegal and ordered the immediate release of detained Dr Khan and the dropping of the stringent NSA charges against him. The relief had come after months of detention for Kafeel who had been in prison for making inflammatory speeches in December. Dr Khan was in prison since January.

Days after his release, Dr Khan had said he will appeal to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister to give him back his job in the state medical services. Dr Khan was addressing a press conference in the Rajasthan capital, where he said he felt safe as it is a Congress-run state indirectly comparing it with Uttar Pradesh.

He was suspended from Gorakhpur's BRD Medical College after several children died there in 2017, apparently due to the lack of oxygen cylinders at the government hospital. A departmental inquiry later cleared Dr Khan of most of the charges, but he found himself in trouble for an allegedly provocative speech in Aligarh during last December's protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

first published:December 17, 2020, 13:07 IST