Telangana High Court sets aside detention order against man who raised 'Sar Tan Se Juda' slogans

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The court said that authorities must be cautious in invoking draconian laws against persons when the regular criminal justice system can be effectuated against them

A Single Judge Bench of the Telangana High Court comprising Justice A Abhishek Reddy has recently set aside the order of the State government which ordered the detention of Syed Abdahu Quadri @ Kashaf, who allegedly raised beheading slogans (‘Naare Takbeer Allah Hu Akbar-Gustak-e- Rasool ki ek hi saza, sar tan se juda') after MLA's made comments on the Prophet in Basheerbagh, Hyderabad on intervening night of 22/23 August, 2022.

Kashaf had been thus accused of promoting enmity between hindus and muslims and according to the order, there are several other cases against him, including one of allegedly posting provocative and inflammatory messages and videos on social media, by posting instigating videos. In another case which was considered by the detaining authority, was a video he posted on WhatsApp, alleging that the Telangana government had destroyed a mosque, even though it was the case of the government that it had been done in a legal manner.

The mother of kashaf had filed a writ petition before the High Court challenging the detention order passed by the State. 

Kashaf's counsel argued that the detention order was passed in a mechanical manner and without application of mind. Further, criminal law was set into motion against kashaf. The counsel informed the court that even though the detenu was granted bail in another case and notice being issued under Section 41-A Cr.P.C., his client continued to be in judicial custody due to the passing of the impugned detention order.

The Special Government Pleader argued that has been indulging in posting provocative and inflammatory messages and videos and thereby creating hatred and ill-will between Muslims and Hindus. Further, the apprehension of the respondent authorities that there is an imminent possibility of his committing a similar offense is not misconceived. He submitted before the court that crimes allegedly committed by the detenu were causing widespread danger to communal harmony. Therefore, the detaining authority was legally justified in passing the impugned detention order.

The high court said that the respondent had failed to prove the nexus between the detention order and the crime which was registered on February, 20. The order reads,

"The respondents have absolutely failed to prove the nexus between the impugned order and the crime No.55 of 2022 which was registered in the month of February, 2022 (regarding WhatsApp video). Further, the respondents have also not pointed out any similar offences involved by the detenu between the date of registration of crime No.1520 of 2022 on 24.08.2022 (regarding raising beheading slogans) and passing of the impugned detention order on 30.08.2022. That being so, the apprehension of the authorities that the detenu may involve in similar offences is highly misplaced and the said apprehensions cannot be the basis for passing the detention order."

The court then allowed the release of Kashaf while setting aside the detention order, while imposing conditions that no one other than a family member should be present at the jail. The court further said that, Kashaf shall not participate in or hold any celebratory rallies/meetings after his release. 

The court also said that Kashaf should not give any interview to the news channel including print media and that he should not make any provocative speeches against any religion or post any derogatory or offensive posts on any social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and Youtube.

Case Title: Ghazala Firdous vs State of Telangana

Statue: Prevention of Detention Act 1950, Indian Penal Code 1860, Criminal Procedure Code 1973