The Supreme Court has directed the Allahabad High Court to positively decide the habeas corpus petition of Kamlesh Tiwari (who had made certain derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad) within a period of 4 weeks, which challenges his detention under the National Security Act. A bench comprising of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice C. Nagappan passed this order yesterday, 26 August 2016, in Writ Petition (Criminal) No.117/2016 [Kamlesh Tiwari v. Union of India & Ors.]. Making it clear that this matter being a habeas corpus, it should be taken seriously by the high court, the Supreme Court observed as under:
“Be it noted, we have fixed four weeks as we have been apprised that the matter is listed on 31st August, 2016, and the petitioner’s detention period is coming to an end on 9th December, 2016. In our view, a habeas corpus petition has to be given immediate attention and steps should be taken to decide it forthwith. We are sure that the High Court shall be alive to the same and dispose of the habeas corpus writ petition within four weeks hence. When we say that it shall be disposed of within four weeks, it means that the matter shall be heard and the judgment shall be delivered within the said period.”
It is noteworthy that Kamlesh Tiwari faced the wrath of Muslims for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad. He claims to have been the working President of the Hindu Mahasabha. He is in jail since 2nd December 2015 and the Uttar Pradesh Government has detained him under the draconian National Security Act which provides for preventive detention without conducting a trial for an offence. Kamlesh Tiwari’s detention comes to an end on 9th December 2016, which means that the high court has taken so long a period to decide his habeas corpus petition that his detention is almost coming to an end.
It is noteworthy that preventive detention is permitted under Article 22 of the Constitution subject to certain safeguards. Article 22 is a fundamental right and violation of it can be challenged directly before the Supreme Court by filing a writ petition for habeas corpus.
Read the full order of the Supreme Court: