The Supreme Court on Wednesday demanded to know from the Centre if it intends to release former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah from detention. In the event of the Centre not releasing him, the apex court said it will take up the plea by Omar’s sister against his detention.
“If you are releasing Omar Abdullah release him soon, or we will hear his sister’s plea against his detention on merit,” said the Supreme Court to Centre.
The NC leader has been in detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA) since August 5 last year, when the Centre revoked the Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and divided the state into two union territories.
Terming the February 5 order under the PSA “unconstitutional”, Sara Pilot, Omar’s sister, said it violated fundamental rights and filed a Habeas Corpus petition.
As Omar completed six months in custody, the state administration ordered his continued detention under the PSA that empowers authorities to hold any person for two more years.
In her petition, Pilot argued that Omar Abdullah was a votary of peace and there was overwhelming evidence in the form of tweets and public statements to prove the same.
Just last week, Omar’s father and NC president Farooq Abdullah walked out of his Gupkar residence, seven months after he was put under similar detention following the abrogation of Article 370 by the central government.
The senior Abdullah said that he will not make any political statement till the time all the leaders are released.
Immediately after his release, the NC issued a statement welcoming the decision and also urged the Union Territory administration to release other political leaders, including party vice president Omar Abdullah.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has defended Omar’s detention in the top court citing the leader’s “past conduct” and possibility of such conduct being repeated on his release, which may “prejudice the public order”.