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HC quashes man's detention over Muharram event, blasts `media trial'

"The order of detention has been passed only because the petitioner (Usman Patel) has participated in a procession on the eve of Muharram and that itself is certainly not a ground for detaining him by passing an order under the National Security Act, 1980," the court said. "The District Magistrate has formed his opinion on the basis of a media trial.

PTI | Indore | Updated: 17-09-2020 23:33 IST | Created: 17-09-2020 23:00 IST
HC quashes man's detention over Muharram event, blasts `media trial'
Representative image. Image Credit: ANI

The Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has struck down local administration's order invoking the National Security Act (NSA) against a former corporator for organizing a Muharram procession. The district collector formed opinion in the matter on the basis of a "media trial", observed a division bench of Justices S C Sharma and Shailendra Shukla.

The bench on Tuesday invalidated Indore collector Manish Singh's order of detention, and allowed a habeas corpus petition filed by Tanveer, the son of jailed former corporator Usman Patel (60). "The order of detention has been passed only because the petitioner (Usman Patel) has participated in a procession on the eve of Muharram and that itself is certainly not a ground for detaining him by passing an order under the National Security Act, 1980," the court said.

"The District Magistrate has formed his opinion on the basis of a media trial. It is unfortunate that media trials have become very common these days and now adjudicating authorities are delivering their judgments based upon media trials," it said. The collector (district magistrate) in his order of August 31 had stated that in view of coronavirus outbreak, religious gatherings are banned. But Patel encouraged people to take out a Muharram procession in defiance of prohibition, the order said.

The collector had cited local newspaper reports about the procession in the order. Tanveer Patel said that his father had not been released as of late Thursday evening.

"When I contacted the district authorities and apprised them of the HC's order, I was told directives from the home department are awaited to complete legal formalities," he said. Usman Patel parted ways with the BJP after being in the party for 40 years in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. He then joined the Congress.


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