The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday i.e on 1st of September ordered the release of Dr. Kafeel Khan, imprisoned in December last year for his speech at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). The court said that Khan’s speech did not encourage any kind of hatred or violence.
After his detention, the Uttar Pradesh government had appealed for the National Security Act (NSA) against Khan. However, the court dismissed it by saying that imposing the strict act was illegal based on the grounds presented by the government authorities.
He had been jailed on January 29 for supposedly delivering a provocative and offensive speech at the Aligarh Muslim University on December 10, 2019, amidst the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests.
The high court of Uttar Pradesh involved the chief justice Govind Mathur and justice Saumitra Dayal Singh allowed the habeas corpus writ petition filed by the doctor’s mother Nuzhat Perween seeking his release and stated that Khan’s speech did not promote any kind of hatred or violence.
“A complete reading of the speech also nowhere threatens peace and tranquility of the city of Aligarh. The address gives a call for national integrity and unity among the citizens. The speech also deprecates any kind of violence. It appears that the District Magistrate had selective reading and selective mention for few phrases from the speech ignoring its true intent,” the judgment read.
According to the habeas corpus petition, the doctor was approved the bail by the court and was supposed to be released on bail. However, he was not released for four days, and later the NSA was imposed on him. Hence, his detention was illegal as it was passed to invalidate the effect of the bail granted by the court.
Khan had earlier hit the headlines after the 2017 tragedy at Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College, in which several children died due to lack of oxygen cylinders.