Yogi govt. challenges Dr Kafeel Khan’s release in Supreme Court

The Uttar Pradesh government, which is led by Hindu right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party, has filed a plea in the Supreme Court challenging the Allahabad High Court order that ordered Dr Kafeel Khan’s release and revoked NSA charges invoked against him in connection with a speech he had delivered against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Aligarh Muslim University.

The petition State of UP and others v Nuzhat Parween (mother of Dr Khan), filed on October 26, is likely to be listed before the Supreme Court on December 17, as per information available from the official website.

Dr Khan was arrested in January 2020 from Mumbai for his speech and he was incarcerated in Mathura jail.

In its 1 September judgment, the Allahabad HC noted that there were no grounds to either detain Khan, let alone to extend such detention twice, as a complete reading of his speech indicated that he ‘deprecated any kind of violence’.

The speech actually gave a “call for national integrity and unity”. The judgment completely reproduced the speech given by Khan, which was termed “provocative” by the District Magistrate, the verdict said.

“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 of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh said in the judgment.

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