Apex court to hear plea challenging Omar Abdullah’s detention today

New Delhi: A Supreme Court bench will on Friday (February 14) hear a plea challenging former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA).

The plea has been filed by Sara Abdullah Pilot, the sister of National Conference leader. The matter is listed before a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee for hearing today.

The Supreme Court had on Wednesday (February 12) adjourned hearing in the case after one of the judges recused himself. Pilot’s plea was to be heard by a three-judge bench comprising justices NV Ramana, Shantanagoudar and Sanjiv Khanna. Justice MM Shantangoudar recused himself from hearing the plea at the outset.

The petition filed by Sara Abdullah challenges the National Conference leader’s detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA). In her petition, Sara had said that Omar Abdullah’s detention is “manifestly illegal” and there is no question of him being a “threat to the maintenance of public order”.

Sara also urged the top court to quash the February 5 order which put the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister in detention under the PSA and said that Abdullah should be produced before the court.

Sara Pilot has also said that exercise of powers by the authorities under the CrPC to detain individuals, including political leaders, was “clearly mala fide to ensure that the opposition to the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution is silenced”.

“There has been a grave violation of Articles 14, 21 and 22 of the Constitution,” the plea said, adding, “similar orders of detention have been issued by the Respondents (authorities of union territory of Jammu and Kashmir) over the last seven months in a wholly mechanical manner to other detainees, which suggest that there has been a consistent and concerted effort to muzzle all political rivals”.

Omar Abdullah and his father Farooq Abdulah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti have been kept under detention ever since the Centre abrogated Article 370 that gave special status to erswhile state of J&K.