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Omar Abdullah's Sister Moves Supreme Court Challenging His PSA Detention

Omar Abdullah's Sister Moves Supreme Court Challenging His PSA Detention

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Fayiq Wani | Updated on: 10 Feb 2020, 11:57:51 AM
Former J-K CM Omar Abdullah

Omar Abdullah's Sister Moves Supreme Court Challenging His PSA Detention (Photo Credit: Twitter)

New Delhi:

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah’s sister on Monday moved Supreme Court against detaining her brother under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA). Calling his detention grave violation of constitutional rights, Sara Abdullah Pilot demanded him to be immediately released. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the petitioner, mentioned the matter for urgent listing before a bench headed by Justice N V Ramana.

Sibal told the bench that they have filed a habeas corpus petition challenging the detention of Abdullah under the PSA and the matter should be heard this week. The bench agreed for urgent listing of the matter.

"The order conflates 'Governmental policy' with the 'Indian State', suggesting that any opposition to the former constitutes a threat to the latter. This is wholly antithetical to a democratic polity and undermines the Indian Constitution," the petition says.

"...a reference to all the public statements and messages posted by the detinue during the period up to his first detention would reveal that he kept calling for peace and co-operation - messages which in Gandhi's India cannot remotely affect public order."

The dossier accuses the 49-year-old Omar Abdullah of holding the ability to attract voters to polling booths despite poll boycott calls and the potential for channelling energies of public for any cause.

The PSA against him states his ability to convince electorates to vote in huge numbers even during the peak of militancy and poll boycott calls by separatists and militants.

The grounds of detention against Omar, who was chief minister of the state from 2009-14, state that on the eve of reorganisation of the state he had made attempts to provoke general masses against the revocation of Articles 370 and 35-A.

The grounds also mention his comments on social networking sites to instigate common people against the decisions on Articles 370 and 35-A which had the potential of disturbing public order.

However, the police have neither mentioned any of Omar’s social media posts in the dossier nor in the order for grounds of his detention.

“To the people of Kashmir, we don’t know what is in store for us.......stay safe and above all please stay calm,” was the last few tweets of Omar before he was taken to Hari Nivas for preventive detention.

Omar's father, Farooq Abdullah, who is a five-time chief minister and currently a member of Lok Sabha, was booked in September last year under the PSA, a law which was enacted by his father Sheikh Abdullah in 1978 to fight timber smugglers in the state as they would easily get away with minimal detention those days.

Sheikh Abdullah brought the Act as a deterrent against timber smugglers as it provided a jail term, without a trial, for up to two years.

However, this Act came in handy for the police and security forces during the early 1990s when militancy erupted in the state.

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First Published : 10 Feb 2020, 11:25:20 AM