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Inform by next week: SC asks Centre on Omar Abdullah’s release


The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration to apprise it whether it’s planning to release National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah, who has been detained under the Public Safety Act since the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year.

A Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and MR Shah told the counsel appearing for J&K administration that if it is not planning to release Omar Abdullah soon, then the court will hear his sister Sara Abdullah Pilot’s plea against his detention on merit.

“Have you obtained instruction whether you are releasing him or not?” Justice Mishra said. The court then posted the matter for hearing next week.

Last week, Omar Abdullah’s father Farooq Abdullah was released after being in detention for several months.

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The court was hearing a plea filed by Sara Pilot, Omar’s sister and the wife of Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, who said the order of detention is manifestly illegal and there is no question of him being a “threat to the maintenance of public order”.

Sara, filing the habeas corpus petition challenging the detention of Omar Abdullah under the PSA, said that exercise of powers by authorities under the CrPC to detain individuals, including political leaders, was “clearly malafide” to ensure that the opposition to the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution is “silenced”.

The plea has sought quashing of February 5 order detaining Omar Abdullah, a former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, under the PSA and also sought his production before the court.

“The intent of exercise of power was to incarcerate not just him (Omar Abdullah) but the entire leadership of the National Conference, as well as the leadership of other political parties, who were similarly dealt with including Farooq Abdullah, who has served the state and the union over several years… stood by India whenever the situation so demanded,” the petition stated.

The plea said that there could be no material available to detain a person who has already been detained for the last six months. It added that the ground for the detention order is wholly lacking any material facts or particulars which are imperative for an order of detention.

(With inputs from ANI)

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