J&K HC | Disputed facts render writ petition unmaintainable; Writ Petition challenging house arrest of Farooq Abdullah dismissed

Jammu and Kashmir High Court: Dismissing a writ petition filed by the kin of former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, a bench comprising of Ali Mohammad Magrey, J. declined to intervene stating that the petitioner’s plea involved disputed questions of fact and therefore the High Court was not the appropriate forum to approach the court by way of a writ petition.

In the present case, the petitioner’s counsel Mohammad Shafi Mir had approached the Court stating that the petitioner was being unlawfully detained in his house since August 5, 2019. The State countered the allegation through communication by the Additional Deputy Commissioner which stated that neither the petitioners have been placed under house arrest nor has their liberty been curbed. In response, the petitioners’ counsel had submitted newspaper clippings to show that the petitioner was in fact under house arrest.

The Court proceeded to observe that in writ proceedings, a fact is to be supported and proved by authentic documentary evidence and that a Writ Court is neither to hold an enquiry into the allegations made in a petition nor take oral evidence.

The Court further observed that once facts are disputed, the writ petition is rendered not maintainable. In such circumstances, the only option available to a Writ Court was to dismiss the writ petition, leaving the party concerned free to take recourse to appropriate remedy. [Muzaffar Ahmad Shah v. State of Jammu and Kashmir, Criminal Writ Petition No. 444 of 2019, decided on 05-11- 2019]

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