Supreme Court resumes hearing petition alleging CPI(M) leader Tarigami’s detention without formal order after the abrogation of special status of J&K

Tarigami has urged for the grant of compensation as a matter of restoration of his dignity, which was violated by keeping him under de facto house arrest in Srinagar without any authority of law.


THE Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the administration of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir to reply to allegations which the court termed ‘serious’ that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) leader Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami, was kept under detention without any formal order to this effect.

A division bench comprising Justices Abhay S. Oka and Rajesh Bindal was hearing a petition filed by CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury in 2019, when 627 Kashmiri leaders and other Kashmiri citizens were detained in the aftermath of the abrogation of the special status of J&K.

On August 28, 2019, when the matter came up for hearing for the first time, the Supreme Court was told by Yechury that in spite of best efforts, he had not been able to enquire about the welfare of Tarigami, and his attempt to meet him personally by going to the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir had also not succeeded, as he had been refused entry into the Union territory.

The court had then passed an order permitting Yechury to meet Tarigami so as to ascertain his whereabouts and welfare.

On September 5, 2019, the court, taking into consideration the health of Tarigami, directed his transfer to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.

On September 16, 2019, the court was informed of Tarigami’s discharge summary from AIIMS. It had observed that Tarigami would be at liberty to move to Srinagar as and when he feels that his health condition would enable him to undertake the journey.

Importantly, the court kept the petition alive for consideration of the validity of the alleged detention of Tarigami, claimed to be without any authority of law with effect from August 5, 2019.

When the matter came up for hearing today, Additional Solicitor General of India (ASG) K.M. Nataraj sought to argue that nothing survived in the petition. However, advocate Shadan Farasat, for the petitioner, drew the attention of the court to its order of September 16, 2019, keeping the petition alive to decide on the validity of the alleged detention.

In an affidavit filed in the court, Tarigami has averred that pursuant to the order of the court on September 16, 2019, there were no restrictions on his movement in Delhi from September 16, 2019 until September 19, 2019, when he returned to Srinagar. However, following his return to Srinagar, he was again illegally detained in the same manner as was detained from August 5, 2019 until he was moved to AIIMS in terms of the court’s order dated September 5, 2019.

He alleged that his personal security did not allow him to move out of his house in Srinagar; hence he was kept in de facto house arrest by the use of his own security.

Farasat argued that he would urge for the grant of compensation to Tarigami as a matter of restoration of his dignity, which was violated by keeping him under detention without any authority of law.

The Leaflet