IOK HC admits Fakhtoo’s appeal against imprisonment till death
Srinagar, August 03 2013 (PPI-OT): The High Court of occupied Kashmir has admitted an appeal by illegally detained Hurriyet leader, Dr Muhammad Qasim Fakhtoo, against the verdict of a single bench which had declared his life term as imprisonment till death. A division bench of Chief Justice, Justice M M Kumar and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, admitted the petition and issued notice to official respondents.
The appeal was admitted after Dr Fakhtoo’s counsel, Mian Abdul Qayoom, argued that his client be freed since he had completed over 20 years in jail. The life term does not mean imprisonment till death in Jammu and Kashmir, he added.
The next hearing of the case has been fixed on September 2.
It is to mention here that on November 16, 2012, a single bench of High Court had dismissed Dr Fakhtoo’s plea for release and observed that life imprisonment could not be equivalent to imprisonment for 14 or 20 years only. The puppet administration had also opposed his release by arguing that life term meant imprisonment till death.
Meanwhile, the High Court has said that the veteran Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani, is free to approach a local magistrate for release of his party Tehreek-e-Hurriyat’s (TeH) calendars and diaries seized by the police two years ago.
Justice Hasnain Masoodi of the High Court in a judgment announced last week had said that it would not be proper for the High Court to deal with the merits of the case and try to find out whether publication and distribution of seized material amounted to unlawful activity.
The TeH had published yearly calendar in December 2011 for 2012 and also diary titled “Lail-o-Nahar”. The calendars and diaries were seized by the police from booksellers and newspaper vendors in different parts of the Valley and arrested many members of the organisation.
The petitioners said that the organization had not been declared unlawful and had a right to propagate its aims and to publish and circulate its viewpoint.
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