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Supreme Court Notice To J&K Administration On Sister’s Plea Against Omar Abdullah’s Detention

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Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah addresses a press conference at his residence on August 3, 2019 in Srinagar, India.

The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Jammu and Kashmir administration over former chief minister Omar Abdullah’s detention under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 (PSA) after his sister Sara Abdullah Pilot filed a habeas corpus plea before them.

ANI reported that the next hearing in the case will be on March 2.

The two-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra and also including Justice Indira Banerjee heard the plea after Justice M M Shantanagoudar had on Wednesday recused himself from hearing the matter.

According to Live Law, Congress leader and advocate Kapil Sibal, who appeared on behalf of Pilot, argued that this was not a matter of preventive detention. “This has nothing to do with preventive detention. This is under the PSA. This is the law.”

The court also asked for an affidavit to be filed on whether a similar petition had been filed in the high court.

Pilot had approached the Supreme Court on February 10 saying her brother’s detention under the PSA was “manifestly illegal”.

Abdullah was detained on the night between August 4 and 5, the day the Narendra Modi-led government at the centre abrogated Article 370, that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

While he was then put under “preventive detention”, whereby a person can only be held for 6 months, the government slapped PSA on Abdullah and another former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti last week.

Pilot’s plea came three days after Abdullah was charged under the PSA.

Under PSA that has two sections — ‘public order’ and ‘threat to security of the state’ — a person can be put in detention without trail for six months for the former, and two years for the latter.

In her plea, Pilot had said his detention under PSA was  “unconstitutional and a flagrant violation of his fundamental rights”.

(With PTI inputs)

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