Agra: The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to release Dr Kafeel Khan who was charged under the National Security Act (NSA) in February for making a provocative speech against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and was arrested in Mumbai in January.
The court set aside the 13 February detention order passed by the district magistrate Aligarh, which was confirmed by the state government. The court issued the order on a habeas corpus petiton filed by Dr Khan's mother Nuzhat Parveen. The order also annulled the extension of his detention period of Dr Khan as illegal.
His wife Shabista Khan reacted with delight that the release order comes on her birth day, and welcomed it as the best birthday gift she could get.
Dr Khan, who is held in Mathura's prison is expected to be released once the order are received by Aligarh District Magistrate.
Dr Kafeel Khan had hit news headlines first, when the hospital he was working in as a paediatrician, the state-run BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur had seen the death of nearly 60 children due to oxygen shortage in 2017 and he had had procured them with special efforts.
However, he was later charged with medical negligence, but he continued highlighting deficient facilities in public hospitals. Thereafter, he was in the firing line of the UP government several times on different charges, the latest being about the alleged hate speech he made.
The division bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Soumitra Dayal Singh observed that Dr Khan's speech was calling for unity and against violence, and that the decision of slapping National Security Act charges against him was taken apparently without comprehending the real intent of his speech.