On sister's plea challenging Omar Abdullah's detention, SC issues notice
On Friday, the Supreme Court issued notice to the administration of union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, seeking a response on the detention of former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA). A bench, headed by Justice NV Ramana, was hearing the plea filed by Omar's sister, Sara Abdullah Pilot. The matter will be taken up again on March 2.
Already under detention, Omar was booked under PSA
Omar, along with a flurry of politicians, was detained in August last year, just before Centre moved a Bill in the Parliament to abrogate Article 370. This month, he was charged under PSA, a law his grandfather Sheikh Abdullah introduced to keep a check on timber smuggling. In the dossier, the government said Omar's past statements drove them to book him under PSA.
Omar's "influence" to get people to vote was mentioned
The National Conference leader, who was a junior foreign minister in the cabinet of late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was accused of planning anti-India activities. "The capacity of the subject to influence people for any cause can be gauged from the fact that he was able to convince his electorate to come out and vote in huge numbers even during the peak of militancy," the dossier read.
Sara said the detention had political undertones
With a hope to get some reprieve for her brother, Sara, who is married to Congress leader Sachin Pilot, approached SC. The plea stated, "It's 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 observations against Omar aren't supported by any material: Plea
The petition also questioned the reason for detention. "Apart from the obvious fact that disagreement with the policies of the Central government is a lawful right of a citizen in a democracy (especially to a member of the Opposition), it is submitted that all such observations were not supported by any material whether in the form of social media posts or otherwise," it said.
Have faith in the judiciary, said Sara
Sara's lawyer and Congress leader Kapil Sibal urged SC to not delay the matter till March 2. After the verdict, Sara said she was expecting a sooner release. "We have full faith in the justice system. We are here in the hope that the people of Kashmir have the same rights as the rest of India. We are waiting for that day," she added.