Supreme Court issues notice to Jammu and Kashmir to respond to Sara Abdullah’s plea challenging brother Omar’s detention
The Supreme Court asked Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to respond to the petition filed by Sara Abdullah Pilot challenging detention of her brother and former chief minister Omar Abdullah.
The administration has to respond by March 2, the next date of hearing.
Plea by senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for Sara Abdullah Pilot, to have the case on an earlier date was turned down by the bench of justices Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee.
“It is a Habeas Corpus petition My Lord. Please have it next week,” said Sibal.
“No no. We cannot have it next week. Why did you wait for a year (to move the court)?” remarked justice Mishra.
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“We were hopeful that, as this is a habeas corpus case, the relief would be sooner. But we have full faith in the justice system. We’re here because we want that all Kashmiris should have the same rights as all citizen of India and we’re waiting for that day,” Sara Abdullah said after the hearing.
Omar Abdullah, 49, was booked under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA) on February 5, which allows authorities to detain a person without trial for a maximum period of two years.
Abdullah, was earlier detained in August 2019, when the central government had scrapped Article 370 and placed Kashmir valley in a state of lockdown. His detention in 2019 was 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”.
Omar Abdullah’s detention was set to expire this month, but a new order under PSA has extended it further.
Abdullah, who was the chief minister of J&K from 2009 to 2014, was accused of “favouring radical thoughts” and of “planning and projecting his activities against the Union of India under the guise of politic” while enjoying the support of gullible masses”. It was alleged that after revocation of Article 370, he instigated people on social media sites to undermine the unity and integrity of India.
His sister rushed to the Supreme Court against the detention order arguing that Omar Abdullah was a votary of peace and there was overwhelming evidence in the form of tweets and public statements to prove the same.
Sara Abdullah Pilot also extensively quoted from the government’s dossier on the former chief minister that formed part of the material which formed the administration’s decision to issue the detention order.
The detention order, she claimed, is vague and irrelevant without any material facts and particulars.
Further, 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.