Ker HC | “Protestors shall not be deprived of access to justice”; HC directs release of detained Lakshadweep protestors

Kerala High Court

Kerala High Court: The Division Bench of A. Muhamed Mustaque and Kauser Edappagath, JJ., ordered the release of persons detained for protesting against the controversial Lakshadweep regulation. The Bench stated,

“The most important concern for us is the liberty of the persons who are in custody. They shall not be deprived of the means of access to justice.”

The instant petition was filed espousing the cause of persons detained in connection with a crime registered in Lakshadweep Island. According to the petitioners, though the case registered against them was bailable, they had been remanded by the Executive Magistrate for no reasons. On the contrary, the counsel for the Lakshadweep Island submitted that the SHO and the Executive Magistrate were prepared to release the protestors on bail but they had refused to get released on bail. However, the above submission had been refuted by the counsel for the petitioner, stating that no such attempt had been made by the SHO and the Executive Magistrate.

Opining that the most important concern before the Court was the liberty of the persons who were in custody, the Bench said the protestors should not be deprived of the means of access to justice. In the above backdrop, the Bench directed the CJM, Amini, to take up the case of protestors who were in custody pursuant to registration of the case by SHO of Kilthan Island by 3pm on the day of passing of order itself. The Bench further said that the CJM need not to ask for the physical production of the persons in custody and the same should be held through video conference. The CJM was also directed to release the detainees on execution of self. Additionally, the Executive Magistrate was directed to file a report detailing the persons who had been kept in custody pursuant to registration of the case and date from which they were in custody and the offences under the penal enactments. The Medical Officer of Kilthan Island was directed to examine all persons in regard to their health conditions.[Sayed Mohammed Koya v. U.T. of Lakshadweep, 2021 SCC OnLine Ker 2355, decided on 01-06-2021]

Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Appearance before the Court by:

For the Petitioner: Adv. R.Rohith

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