Crescent Kashmir

Supreme Court to hear Sara Pilot’s plea challenging Omar Abdullah’s detention on March 5

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The Supreme Court deferred hearing Sara Abdullah Pilot plea challenging the detention of his brother and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah under the Public Security Act (PSA) to Thursday. Pilot has sought immediate release of her brother.

In its previous hearing on February 14, a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee had sought a reply from the Jammu and Kashmir administration on the plea. In its response, Attorney General KK Venugopal said no explanation had been offered for not approaching the High Court

Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said Abdullah had been in detention since August 4, 2019. He added that Sara’s plea was a Habeus Corpus petition and urged the court to take it up urgently. But the bench said, “it cannot be heard overnight”.

Sara, in her plea, contended that Omar’s detention under PSA was “ex-facie mala fide, for entirely political considerations” and urged the Court to quash the same.

The petition said: “It is rare that those who have served the nation as members of Parliament, Chief Ministers of a state, ministers in the Union and have always stood by the national aspirations of India are now perceived as a threat to the state.” The grounds on which the detention has been ordered are “false and illusory to the extent of being non-existent and are not grounds within the contemplation” of the PSA, it added.

The petition had come up before a three-judge bench on February 12. One of the judges – Justice M Shantanagoudar – recused himself from hearing it, following which, it was listed on Friday before the bench headed by Justice Mishra.

Along with Omar Abdullah, PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti has also been booked under PSA. The National Conference leader’s ability to “convince his electorate to vote in huge numbers” and Mehbooba Mufti being “referred (to) as ‘Daddy’s girl’ and ‘Kota Rani’” for “her dangerous and insidious machinations and usurping profile and nature” are among the reasons cited by the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) administration for invoking the stringent PSA against the two former chief ministers.


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