[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Jammu and Kashmir Government, faced with questions from the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on the claim made by a petitioner that the petitioner-detenu was a minor, and was, therefore, required to be treated as a juvenile, has now revoked the detention of the minor.
The order to this effect was passed by the Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department, J&K on September 20, 2019, with a direction to the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Anantnag, to ensure that the minor is released/ shifted back and, subsequently, handed over to his family.
A photocopy of the Government order to this effect was taken on record by the High Court during the hearing held on October 1, 2019
The High Court, accordingly, noted, “In view of the aforesaid position, nothing survives for further adjudication in this Habeas Corpus petition. As a sequel thereto, the same shall stand closed as settled.”
However, counsel for the petitioner told the High Court that the uncle of the detenue, namely, Sajad Ahmad Ganie, through whom the present petition had been filed before Court, had informed him that even though they had come across the aforesaid Government order whereby the detention order of the detenue stands revoked, however, the detenue had not yet been handed over to his family.
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, thus, held for the purpose of ensuring compliance of Government order revoking the detention of the minor on the part of the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Anantnag, through Mr Shah, the learned Senior Additional Advocate General, Registry shall maintain an index and list the matter before the Court on October 3, 2019
On September 24, 2019, a single bench presided by Justice Sanjiv Kumar observed, “the petitioner has already placed on record the marks card which indicates the date of birth of the detenu as March 15, 2003”.
Justice Kumar asked District Magistrate concerned to look into this aspect specifically and revert to the court on the next date of hearing, October 1.
The detention order was passed under the PSA, 1978. Section 8 of the PSA, 1978 as amended in 2012 prohibits the detention of a person who has not attained the age of 18 years.
Notably, the apex court on September 20 had asked the Jammu and Kashmir High Court’s Juvenile Justice Committee to inquire into allegations of illegal detention of children by security forces in J&K post abrogation of the Article 370 of the Constitution.