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Omar Abdullah’s sister moves Supreme Court to quash PSA on him

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Sarah, mentioned the plea for urgent listing before a bench headed by Justice N V Ramana.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: February 11, 2020 3:38:29 am
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Terming former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah’s detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA) as “ex-facie mala fide, for entirely political considerations”, his sister Sarah Abdullah Pilot on Monday approached the Supreme Court, urging it to quash the same.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Sarah, mentioned the plea for urgent listing before a bench headed by Justice N V Ramana. Sibal said a Habeas Corpus petition had been filed challenging Omar’s detention and the matter should be listed this week.

The court agreed to list it for hearing.

The petition said, “It is rare that those who have served the nation as Members of Parliament, chief ministers, ministers in the Union, and have always stood by the national aspirations of India are now perceived as a threat to the state.”

Grounds on which the detention has been ordered are “false and illusory to the extent of being non-existent and are not grounds within the contemplation” of the PSA, it added.

“Apart from the obvious fact that disagreement with policies of the Central government is a lawful right of a citizen in a democracy (especially to an Opposition member), it is submitted that all such observations were not supported by any material – whether in the form of social media posts or otherwise,” the petition stated. It added that at no point in his “prolific political career” has Omar resorted to or indulged in conduct unbecoming of a “conscientious public figure”.

She submitted that Omar had already been detained since August 5, 2019.

Sarah said that a “reference to all public statements and messages posted” by her brother “during the period up to his first detention would reveal that he has kept calling for peace and co-operation — messages which in Gandhi’s India cannot remotely affect public order”.

Initially he was placed under house arrest and later provision of CrPC was invoked, she said, adding the “exercise of powers under CrPC…was clearly mala fide to ensure that the opposition to the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution is silenced”.

The plea contended that the “intent” was to “incarcerate not just him, 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 and who has stood by India whenever the situation so demanded.”

Alleging “grave violation of Articles 14, 21 and 22 of the Constitution,” the plea said similar detention order have been also been issued to other detenues too in a “mechanical manner…which suggest that there has been a consistent and concerted effort to muzzle all political rivals”.

PSA slapped on J&K MP’s son Hilal Lone

Srinagar: The J&K administration has booked Hilal Lone, son of National Conference leader and Lok Sabha member Mohammad Akbar Lone under PSA.

“Probable MLA candidate of National Conference”, being a “Poster Boy of NC”, and his activities that allegedly “seem to be prejudicial to the sovereignty, security, integrity, peace and tranquility of the Union of India” are among reasons cited.

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