‘Reasons for detention not given till now’: Saifuddin Soz’s wife moves SC for his release
Senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz’s wife has approached the Supreme Court challenging her husband’s detention for nearly 10 months as unconstitutional and illegal.
Mumtazunnisa Soz, in her petition filed through advocate Sunil Fernandes, has alleged the detention to be unconstitutional and illegal. Soz has been detained at his house situated at Shehjar, Humhama Heights, Airport Avenue in Srinagar since August 5, 2019 following the revocation of special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir under Articles 370 and 35A through a presidential order followed by a resolution in both houses of the parliament.
The petition claims that till date, the order of detention detailing the reasons has not been supplied to him in a direct violation of the fundamental rights under Article 22(5) as well as Section 18 of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 (PSA).
Soz, an octogenarian has represented parliament from Baramullah constituency on numerous occasions since 1983. He served as the Union minister for environment between 1997 and 1999 and as Union minister for water resources from 2006-09.
Along with Soz, other senior leaders of J&K, including former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, are also under detention. A petition by her daughter Iltija Mufti challenging her detention is already pending before the Supreme Court. In April this year, she was shifted from a subsidiary jail in Srinagar to her Fairview residence.
Previously, the detention of former chief ministers of the erstwhile state of J&K, Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah was challenged before the Supreme Court. Omar’s sister Sara Pilot had approached the apex court against his detention in March this year. Later that month, Centre released Omar even as the petition was pending in the court. Farooq Abdullah’s detention also ended days prior to Omar’s release. In September 2019, Tamil Nadu politician and MDMK leader Vaiko approached the apex court seeking release of Farooq Abdullah but the matter was later dismissed by Court.