Alld HC clears Kafeel Khan of NSA charges, says his speech did not promote hate, violence

Sep 1, 2020

Allahabad: The Allahbad High Court on Tuesday cleared Dr Kafeel Khan of charges under NSA and ordered his immediate release, observing that his speech for which he had been booked did not promote hatred or violence.

“A complete reading of the speech primafacie does not disclose any effort to promote hatred or violence. It also no where threatens peace and tranquility of the city of Aligarh. The address gives a call for national integrity and unity among the citizens. The speech also deprecates any kind of violence. It appears that the District Magistrate had selective reading and selective mention for few phrases from the speech ignoring its true intent,” the High Court said, according to a Livelaw report.

Accordingly, the court said it has revoked the NSA charges against Dr. Khan; the order of detention dated 13th February, 2020 passed by District Magistrate, Aligarh under the NSA Act and confirmed by the State of Uttar Pradesh has been set aside. The extension of the period of detention of detenue Dr. Kafeel Khan is also declared illegal

The judgement was passed by a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh. The judges said that that prima facie, the speech is not such that a reasonable man could have arrived at a conclusion as the inference drawn by the District Magistrate, Aligarh, who passed the detention order against Dr. Khan in February this year.

“The speaker was certainly opposing the policies of the government and while doing so certain illustration are given by him, but that no where reflects the eventualities demanding detention. A complete reading of the speech primafacie does not disclose any effort to promote hatred or violence. It also no where threatens peace and tranquility of the city of Aligarh. The address gives a call for national integrity and unity among the citizens. The speech also deprecates any kind of violence. It appears that the District Magistrate had selective reading and selective mention for few phrases from the speech ignoring its true intent,” the Bench observed after extracting the speech of Khan in its entirety.

The HC observed that State failed to discharge its burden to establish that KafeelKhan’s December speech had “such a deleterious effect on the public order in district-Aligarh as had continued to exist up to 13.02.2020 necessitating preventive detention of the detenue”.

Dr Khan was arrested in January after he delivered a speech at Aligarh Muslim University against CAA on December 10, 2019. The NSA charges were invoked against him on February 13, 2020, on the orders of the Aligarh District Magistrate. His detention under NSA was extended for the second time by three months on August 16

He is currently lodged in Mathura jail. Dr Khan had first come into limelight in August 2017 when several children died at the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur, where he worked as a paediatrician. A departmental inquiry later gave clean chit to him, but the Uttar Pradesh Government did not reinstate him.

—India News Stream