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Court issues notice to Police SHO for detaining former MP Sheikh Abdul Rehman

J&K high Court

In a major development, a Bench of High Court of J&K and Ladakh (Jammu Wing) comprising Justice Puneet Gupta has issued notice to Rashid Choudhary, SHO, Police Station, Pir Mitha, Jammu in a contempt petition filed by Ex-MP Sheikh Abdul Rehman seeking initiation of Contempt of Court proceedings against the said SHO for his wilful/intentional defiance of the judgement dated December 18th, 1996 passed by the Supreme Court wherein the Supreme Court has laid down more than 10 Guidelines to be followed by all the Police Officers while arresting/detaining a citizen including preparation of a Arrest Memo and informing the Arrestee/Detenue about the grounds of Arrest/Detention.

After hearing Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed appearing for the petitioner Sheikh Abdul Rehman, the court has directed SHO, P/S Pir Mitha, Jammu to file his statement of facts by or before the next date of hearing.

In the contempt petition, the petitioner who is 91 years of age has submitted that it was on October 20th, 2023 at about 10:30 PM when he was about to sleep, the SHO of P/S Pir Mitha, Jammu alongwith a contingent of Police directed him to get up as he is to be taken to Pir Mitha Police Station. The petitioner and his family members repeatedly requested the SHO, P/S Pir Mitha, Jammu to disclose the grounds of Arrest/Detention and on what basis at late night the petitioner who is suffering from several ailments and a senior politician is being taken to Police Station when he is not involved in the commission of any offence. 

The Former Member of Parliament has further alleged in the Contempt Petition that the SHO, P/S Pir Mitha, Jammu failed to disclose the Grounds of Arrest and the petitioner had no option except to obey the illegal orders of the SHO concerned. The petitioner has further stated in the petition that even at Police Station, Pir Mitha, requests were made to the SHO to disclose him or his family members the grounds of his arrest/detention but the SHO exhibited disrespectful conduct towards the petitioner and did not answer his questions and kept on avoiding him and was mostly talking on his mobile. The petitioner had never expected such brazen abuse of power from a custodian of law who without informing him about his Grounds of Arrest violated the guidelines of the Apex Court regarding arrest/detention issued way back in the year, 1996 with impunity. Needless to mention herein, the Supreme Court on December 18th, 1996 delivered a landmark judgment titled D.K. Basu & Anr. V/s State of West Bengal & Anr. wherein the Supreme Court looking into rise in cases of illegal arrest/custodial torture laid down more than 10 Guidelines to be followed by all the Police Officers throughout the Country in all cases of arrest or detention and the Supreme Court in the said judgment also ruled that failure to comply with the guidelines will render the concerned official liable for departmental action and also liable to be punished for Contempt of Court and the proceedings for Contempt of Court may be instituted in any High Court of the Country having territorial jurisdiction over the matter.

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