Allahabad: Dr Kafeel Khan was released from Mathura jail after the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday quashed his detention under the National Security Act and ordered his immediate release, saying his speech at the AMU didn’t promote hatred or violence and gave a call for national integrity.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh said the Aligarh district magistrate, who passed the order for Khan’s detention, did a “selective reading” of his speech, “ignoring its true intent”.
Khan’s lawyer Irfan Ghazi told PTI, “Mathura jail administration informed at around 11.00 pm that Dr Kafeel will be released, and at around midnight, he was released”.
The high court allowed the writ petition filed by Khan’s mother Nuzhat Parveen and said the detention order by the district magistrate was illegal.
The petition argued that Khan was granted bail in February by a competent court and he was supposed to be released on bail. However, he was not released for four days and the National Security Act (NSA) was subsequently invoked against him. Hence, his detention was illegal.
Khan was in jail since January after he delivered the allegedly provocative speech at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests in December last year. He was lodged in Mathura jail.
On Tuesday evening, his family members said they would file a contempt plea in the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday if he was not released as per its orders.
Khan’s brother Adeel claimed that the jail administration told them that they will go by the order of the Mathura district magistrate and until the DM says, Kafeel would not be released.
Adeel claimed that after the High Court gave the order, an e-mail informing about the release of Khan was sent to the jail administration and the DMs of Mathura and Aligarh, but the authorities were making an excuse of not getting the order.