5 grounds raised by Omar Abdullah’s sister challenging his detention under PSA
The Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear a petition filed by Sara Abdullah Pilot challenging the detention of her brother and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah under the Public Safety Act or PSA.
The case will be heard by a bench of Justices NV Ramana, Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Sanjiv Khanna.
Below are the five grounds raised by Sara Abdullah in her petition challenging Omar Abdullah’s detention:
1. Material on the basis of which the detention order was passed was not disclosed or supplied to Abdullah: “...this Hon’ble Court has, in a catena of judicial pronouncements, held that the non-supply of material forming the basis of the grounds of detention vitiates the order of detention making it unconstitutional and liable to be quashed,” Sara Abdullah stated in her petition.
2. The detention order is vague and irrelevant without any material facts and particulars and showed non-application of mind by the District Magistrate who passed the order: It was her argument that none of the grounds in the detention order disclose as to precisely which prohibited action listed in Section 8(3)(b) of the PSA was committed or likely to be committed by Abdullah.
3. The dossier handed over to Abdullah along with the order of detention under the PSA contains patently false and ridiculous material: “...the dossier handed over to the detenu along with the order of detention under the PSA contains patently false and ridiculous material, essentially accusing the detenu of becoming a popular figure among general masses and possessing considerable influence over people,” the petition said.
4. There is enough evidence to prove that there was no likelihood of Abdullah indulging in activities which would be prejudicial to public order: The petition referred to tweets and public statements of Abdullah which Sara said was proof that there was no likelihood of Abdullah indulging in activities which would be prejudicial to public order including tweets put out by him cautioning people against resorting to violence and taking law into their hands. “There is overwhelming evidence in the form of tweets and public statements made by the detenu prior to this detention that point towards the exemplary conduct of the detenu wherein the detenu as a votary of peace and public order has repeatedly requested the general people to maintain peace and tranquillity. These tweets have in fact had the required effect with several thousand people retweeting and endorsing the sentiment.”
5. No fresh grounds or material exist to detain Abdullah after his earlier detention under Section 107 CrPC lapsed: She pointed out that Omar Abdullah was earlier detained from August 7, 2019, under Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) which empowers executive magistrate to order a person to execute bonds “for keeping the peace”. After the lapse of detention order of August 2019, existence of fresh grounds and material were essential for ordering further detention of Abdullah but there were no such new material which justified the PSA order, said Sara. “...on expiry of an order of detention, a new order of detention cannot be issued without the existence of new facts/ grounds and new material substantiating such grounds and any such order passed without such new facts and material would be illegal and liable to be set aside,” the petitioner argued.