After his release from Mathura Jail in the wee hours of Wednesday, Dr Kafeel Khan accused the Uttar Pradesh government of not doing ‘Raj Dharma’ and instead, indulging in ‘Baal Hatth’ or childlike-stubbornness. He added that the state government could frame him in another case. Khan also said he would set up camps to work in flood-hit areas, a wish he had earlier expressed in an open letter.
The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday quashed his detention under the National Security Act and ordered his immediate release, saying his speech at the AMU didn’t promote hatred or violence and gave a call for national integrity. “Mathura jail administration informed at around 11.00 pm that Dr Kafeel will be released, and at around midnight, he was released,” Khan’s lawyer Irfan Ghazi told PTI.
Soon after the Allahabad High Court order, when Kafeel's family reached Mathura jail for his release, the authorities refused to release him citing non-receipt of the order, following which the family had said they would file a contempt petition in the Allahabad High Court. In a tweet, his wife Dr Shabista alleged, "Even after high court order they are not releasing Dr Kafeel Khan. Khan’s brother Adeel also claimed the Mathura jail administration told them they will go by the order of the district magistrate and until the DM says, he will not be released.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh said the Aligarh district magistrate, who passed the order for Khan’s detention, did a selective reading of his speech, ignoring its true intent. Kafeel was lodged in Mathura jail for nearly seven and a half months under the National Security Act on charges of making inflammatory speeches in Aligarh against the amended citizenship law (CAA) last year.
Quashing Khan’s detention order, the court said, “A complete reading of the speech prima facia does not disclose any effort to promote hatred or violence. It also nowhere threatens peace and tranquillity 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 court further said in the instant case, the “causal link is found to be missing or completely broken”.