Ex-J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah detained under public safety law
Former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has been detained under Jammu and Kashmir’s stringent public safety law that gives the administration the right to detain a person without trial for two years. An order by the state government said the former chief minister’s residence will be treated as a temporary jail.
Jammu and Kashmir’s public safety law was first brought into force when Farooq Abdullah’s father Sheikh Abdullah was the chief minister. In its initial form, the law empowered authorities to jail a person for two years.
News of the detention order emerged on Monday ahead of the top court hearing of a habeas corpus (literally means, produce the body) petition that sought Farooq Abdullah’s production in the top court.
Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Vaiko had moved the petition to seek Farooq Abdullah’s production since he had not been able to contact the senior politician. Abdullah’s detention has been a matter of some controversy, particularly after Home Minister Amit Shah last month told the Lok Sabha that Abdullah was free.
Minutes later, the former chief minister came out in front of television cameras at his house to contradict the government and claim that he had been under house arrest and not allowed to step out.
The Centre’s second most-senior law officer Tushar Mehta, who represented the government at Monday’s proceedings in the Supreme Court, had opposed the judges issuing notice to the government. Mehta had insisted that Vaiko did not a locus standi in the case.
When the judges wanted to know if the former chief minister was in detention, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta asked for time since he would have to seek instructions from the state administration. The top court will take up the case on 30 September.