The Allahabad High Court Tuesday dismissed charges filed against Dr. Kafeel Khan under the National Security Act (NSA) and ordered his immediate release.
Khan was arrested on January 29,2020, for delivering the speech at Aligarh Muslim University on December 10, 2019.
The Allahabad Court deemed the detention of Dr. Kafeel Khan under National Security Act (NSA) for a speech against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA, as “illegal” and ordered his immediate release.
The high court was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by Khan’s mother, seeking his release on grounds that he had been detained illegally.
This is the second time his detention under the stringent law has been extended by another three months, this time beyond August 13.
Under the NSA, people can be detained without a charge for up to 12 months if authorities are satisfied that they are a threat to national security or law and order.
Khan was accused of delivering a provocative speech at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on December 10, 2019 during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests.
In an order dated August 4, the UP Home Department said the NSA was invoked against Khan on February 13, 2020, on the orders of the Aligarh District Magistrate.
The matter was then sent to the advisory council, which in its report, said there are “enough reasons” to keep Khan in jail following which orders were given on May 6, to extend his detention under the NSA by three months, that is till August 13, the order said.
Acting on the report of the council and the report from the District Magistrate, Aligarh, Governor Anandiben Patel, using the powers vested in her, directed that the detention of Kafeel Khan be further extended by three more months.
In mid-August, the UP government extended Khan’s detention by another three months.
Khan was booked under IPC section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion).
The FIR registered against him states that his speech threatened to disrupt the harmony between the communities and was also likely to create a law and order situation.
Later, sections 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505(2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill will between classes) of the Indian Penal Code were added to the FIR.
The doctor, who is currently lodged in Mathura jail, had first hit the headlines in August 2017 when several children died at the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur, where he worked as a pediatrician. Though he was later given a clean chit in a departmental probe, the government did not reinstate him.