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Omar Abdullah detention: SC issues notice to J&K administration on plea filed by his sister

On Friday, over the detention of former chief minister Omar Abdullah under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA), the Supreme Court has issued a notice to Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration.

The SC bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, after hearing petition filed by Omar Abdullah's sister Sara Abdullah Pilot generated a notice to the Centre and J&K administration and has given time of two weeks to submit their reply. The matter is adjourned till March 2.

Sara Abdullah Pilot's petition challenges the detention of National Conference leader Omar Abdullah under the J&K Public Safety Act.

On February 10, Pilot had approached the apex court challenging her brother's detention, and said the order of detention is "manifestly illegal" and there is no question of him being a "threat to the maintenance of public order." The plea sought dismissal of the February 5 order detaining Omar Abdullah, former chief minister of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, under the PSA and also sought his presence before the court.

Also Read: Omar Abdullah's sister Sara Abdullah moves to SC over detention under PSA

Pilot also said exercise of powers by authorities under the CrPC to detain individuals, including political leaders, was "clearly mala fide to ensure that the opposition to the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution is silenced."

It said that on the intervening night of August 4-5, 2019, Omar Abdullah was put under house arrest and it was later learnt that section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973 was quoted to justify such arrest.

It said "similar orders of detention have been issued by respondents (authorities of union territory of Jammu and Kashmir) over the last seven months in a wholly mechanical manner to other detenues, which suggest that there has been a consistent and concerted effort to muzzle all political rivals."

The plea said there could be no material available to detain a person who has already been detained for previous six months and the "grounds for the detention order are wholly lacking any material facts or particulars which are imperative for an order of detention."

The plea said at no point of time in his "prolific political career", he has resorted to or indulged in conduct unbecoming of a "conscientious public figure."

Omar Abdullah, who has been junior foreign minister and commerce minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led Cabinet in 2000, was served with a three-page dossier in which he was alleged to have made statements in the past which were "subversive" in nature.

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