|SRINAGAR, Nov 16: The High Court today dismissed petition of the Muslim League Chairman Dr Muhammad Qasim Faktoo seeking directions for his release.|
In his judgment, Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir, while referring to various Supreme Court orders and in light of arguments made by the parties, has said: “…the petition merits to be dismissed.”
Justice Mir had reserved his judgment in September after hearing hectic arguments of Dr Faktoo’s counsel, Mian Abdul Qayoom and senior Additional Advocate General AM Magray representing the state.
Defending his petitioner Qayoom had argued that Dr Faktoo has earned remission for his good behavior in the jail and his cumulative period of detention comes out to be 20 years which amounts to life imprisonment.
“Dr Faktoo on May 31, 2012 completed 20 years in prison which as per the Jail Manual and Prison’s Act amounts to life imprisonment,” Qayoom had argued.
He had told the court that a communication from DIG Prisons addressed to DG Prisons attests the fact that his petitioner has completed the sentence of life term.
“Criminal Procedure code has no application with our case and it can’t overrule special laws such as Prisoners Act and Jail Manual which provide for the release of Faktoo,” he had argued.
“Dr Faktoo has earned the remission for good behavior and once it is earned there is no question of denying of denying of granting it.”
Senior Additional Advocate General A M Magray had argued his case on two counts: “remission earned does not mean remission granted and 20 years does not mean life imprisonment.”
“In Faktoo’s case no remission has been granted. There is a palpable difference between remission earned and remission granted.” Magray said. “Remission can’t be claimed as matter of right.”
Magrey had referred to sections of Criminal Procedure Code and Supreme Court judgments in support of his contention against Faktoo’s release.
Magray said life imprisonment does not mean imprisonment for 14 or 20 years. “It means the conviction for the whole life,” he said.
It may be recalled that Dr Faktoo was first detained in 1993 under the Public Safety Act. However, after 6 years of imprisonment, a TADA court acquitted him of all the charges. Police later rearrested him again at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in 2002 after he attended a Conference on Kashmir in London.
In 2003 he was sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of his alleged involvement in murder of human rights activist, H N Wanchoo in 1992. Dr Faktoo denied the charges. Earlier, Dr Faktoo had filed a petition praying that he was entitled for a review of his sentence. The High Court later asked the government on May 23, 2008 to constitute a review board to consider his release.
Following a meeting, the review board recommended his premature relase. However, the government rejected the review board recommendation.
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News Updated at : Saturday, November 17, 2012