NEW DELHI: Sara Abdullah Pilot on Monday filed a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court challenging her brother and former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah‘s detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
Her petition was mentioned for urgent hearing by senior advocate Kapil Sibal before a bench headed by Justice N V Ramana, who agreed for its listing this week.
Referring to her Omar’s political credentials – from being a Union minister for external affairs to J&K chief minister – Sara sought quashing of the “arbitrary and mala fide detention order”, saying he had been in detention since August 5, when Article 370 was abrogated, and he could pose no threat to warrant fresh detention.
In her petition, she said Abdullah’s public statements and messages posted on social media before he was detained on August 5 “would reveal that he kept calling for peace and cooperation, messages which in Gandhi’s India cannot remotely affect public order”.
“It is rare that those who have served the nation as MP, chief minister of a state, minister in the Union government and have always stood by the national aspirations of India are now perceived as a threat to the state,” Sara said.
Terming the fresh detention “a mala fide exercise to silence the opposition” to abrogation of J&K’s special status, she said, “The grounds of detention served on Omar Abdullah had no material particulars with reference to the date or dates, place or places, words uttered from time to time, immediately prior to February 5 and other necessary particulars to justify the fresh detention order.”
Broad-basing the petition to narrate other instances of such detention, Sara said she believed that similar arbitrary exercise of detention powers were made recently for political considerations to detain mainstream politicians.
Sara said Abdullah’s detention order under PSA “conflates governmental policy with the Indian state, suggesting that any opposition to the former constituted a threat to the latter. This is wholly antithetical to a democratic polity under the Constitution”.


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