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New Delhi, February 10, 2020
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's sister on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging his fresh detention under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal sought urgent hearing in the matter, and the top court agreed to consider his request.
Omar's sister Sara Abdullah Pilot termed the February 5 order under PSA unconstitutional, and said that it also blatantly violates fundamental rights.
Sara Abdullah Pilot, in the petiton, said that when her brother's release was imminent, she "shockingly learnt about his new detention under the provisions of the Public Safety Act (under which their father also remains detained), which could have no application to one who has anyway been in custody over several months in a state that was under a complete lockdown."
Sara urged the Supreme Court to issue writ in the nature of Habeas Corpus commanding the authorities concerned to produce "the person of the detenu forthwith before this Hon'ble Court for being set at liberty."
Sara contended that, apart from the obvious fact that her brother had disagreement with the policies of the Centre, which is a lawful right of a citizen in a democracy (especially to a member of the opposition), all observations against him in the dossier were not supported by any material whether in the form of social media posts or otherwise.
"There exists overwhelming evidence in the form of tweets and public statements made by the detenu prior to this detention that point towards the exemplary conduct of the detenu wherein he as a votary of peace and public order has repeatedly requested to general people to maintain peace and tranquillity," she said in her petition.
Omar Abdullah has been in detention at Hari Niwas in Srinagar since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5 last year.
He was booked under the PSA on February 6, 2020, after his six-month long preventive detention came to an end.