February 14, 2020

PSA on Omar Abdullah: SC to take up case on March 2

New Delhi: Supreme Court of India Friday issued a notice to Jammu Kashmir administration asking it to show ground on which former Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has been detained under Public Safety Act. Whether Omar Abdullah’s detention under the stringent Public Security Act (PSA) is valid will be examined by the Supreme Court, which issued notice today to the Jammu and Kashmir administration. The Supreme Court said it would take up the case again on March 2, rejecting senior lawyer Kapil Sibal’s request to hear it earlier.

  Omar Abdullah’s sister Sara Abdullah Pilot had petitioned the Supreme Court against his detention and had asked that he be produced in court and freed immediately.

“We were hoping that the release would be sooner,” said Sara Abdullah Pilot.

“We have full faith in the justice system. We are here in hope that the people of Kashmir have the same rights as the rest of India. We are waiting for that day,” she added.

   Kapil Sibal requested the court to move the hearing sooner than March 2, pleading: “It is a matter of liberty and can’t wait.”

The Supreme Court, commenting that Mr Abdullah’s sister had waited for one year, said: “You waited a long time.”

Sibal then pointed out that this was the second detention order that was being challenged. The court, however, remained firm on the next date.

Sara Abdullah Pilot says in her petition that her brother’s arrest is a grave violation of his constitutional rights and part of a “consistent and concerted effort to muzzle all political rivals”.

Earlier this month, the former chief minister, in detention since August 5 when the government ended special status to Jammu and Kashmir was charged under the stringent law that allows detention without trial for up to three months, and this can be extended. Omar Abdullah’s father Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, also former chief ministers, have been detained under the same law, which is used mostly against militants and stone-throwers. (KNT)

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