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Delhi HC orders release of man from deportation centre illegally detained by officials

The order was passed by a division bench of the high court presided by Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup J Bhambani while hearing a habeas corpus filed by a woman seeking to release her husband from the deportation centre.

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ILNS: The Delhi High Court The Delhi High Court has ordered the release of an Indian national, wrongly detained under Sections 419/420/468/471/120B of the IPC and Sections 3/9 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 as well as Sections 14A and 14B of the Foreigners Act 1946.

The man, Asif Hossain, who had been picked up from a railway station, had already served a prescribed ‘sentence’ by a lower court, but was moved to a deportation centre, despite him holding a valid Indian passport.

The High Court bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Anup J Bhambani maintained that “he (Hossain) is being detained without any legal cause, occasion or justification; and in gross violation of the procedure established by law.” The court observed that the person concerned is actually an Indian citizen, has been proved through his Indian passport.

The issue had come up before the bench in a habeas corpus petition filed by a woman, seeking the release of Hossain from detention centre. The woman said Hossain was her husband.

The judgement noted, “Upon duly serving the entire sentence, in terms of aforesaid judgment dated November 7, 2019, Asif Hossain was released from Central Jail No 14, Mandoli Prison Complex Delhi; but was sent by the State to undergo detention at the ‘Sewa Sadan Deportation Centre’ Narela, Lampur Village in Delhi.”

While the release was official, the court, however, directed the man to participate in any proceedings that may be instituted by the official respondents under the Foreigners Act or otherwise, in accordance with the law, if and when required.

The bench noted, “The official respondents have been unable to establish that man is a foreign national. There is also no quarrel with the factual position that man is not wanted in any other case or that he has other criminal antecedents.”

During the hearing over video-conferencing, Amicus Curiae and Senior Counsel Dayan Krishnan said the detention is without any justification and contrary to the relevant provisions of the Foreigners Act.

The court has now listed the matter for further hearing on May 21, for consideration of the report filed by the Judicial Officer.

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Advocates Ajay Verma, Mehek Nakraand and Aakanksha Bansal appeared for the petitioner while Advocate Dhruv Pande appeared for the respondent authority.

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