Months after his reinstatement in the Indian Administrative Service and subsequent appointment as Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Shah Faesal on Monday withdrew his petition challenging the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution from the Supreme Court, reports Bar and Bench.
Faesal was among the 23 petitioners who moved the Supreme Court challenging the central government’s August 2019 decision to revoke the constitutional provision that granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Faesal had quit the IAS following the Centre’s decision and become heavily critical of the Modi government and the BJP. However, his resignation, which he eventually withdrew, was never accepted by the government.
Following his resignation in January 2019, Faesal decided to enter active politics and went on to form the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement (JKPM) party to “revive democratic politics” in Jammu and Kashmir. Faesal was also detained under the Public Safety Act in the immediate aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370.
Following his release from detention four months later, Faesal quit politics and began to drop hints that he was willing to rejoin the administrative service.
In an interview to The Indian Express on August 10, 2019, Faesal had termed the Centre’s decision on Kashmir a “catastrophic turn in our collective history”.
In an interview with PTI following his release, Faesal said, “Soon after quitting (IAS), I realised that my innocuous act of dissent was being seen as an act of treason. It had done more harm than benefit and my act had discouraged a lot of civil services aspirants and my colleagues felt betrayed. It upset me a lot.”
Hailing from the Lolab village in north Kashmir, Faesal, whose father was killed by terrorists in 2002, topped the UPSC examination in 2009.