SC issues notice to Centre on plea seeking release of Farooq Abdullah

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The Supreme Court Monday issued notice to the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration on a plea by Rajya Sabha MP and MDMK general secretary Vaiko seeking production of former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer fixed the next date of hearing on September 30.

The court sought to know if the former J&K chief minister is under any kind of detention. “Union home minister said Abdullah was not under any kind of detention, but we don’t know his whereabouts,” Vaiko’s counsel said in response.

Vaiko, in his petition, has claimed Abdullah is not being allowed to attend a seminar organised by him in Chennai.

Vaiko, who said he is a close friend of Abdullah for the past four decades, has contended that constitutional rights conferred on the National Conference leader had been deprived of on account of “illegal detention without any authority of law”.

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The Indian Express has learnt that Abdullah has been detained under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act. Sources in Kashmir say the Home Department has detained him under PSA after declaring his house as a Subsidiary Jail. There is no bar on meeting of relatives and friends.

Last week, the Srinagar Bench of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir allowed two National Conference MPs to hold separate meetings with Farooq and vice president Omar Abdullah, who have been in detention since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5.

While Omar has been detained at Hari Niwas, Farooq has been detained at his own house in Srinagar’s Gupkar area.

The top court is hearing a batch of petitions regarding the situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the Centre revoking the special status granted to it under Article 370 of the Constitution. The court has also given permission to Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to visit Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramullah and Jammu districts to enquire about the well being of his family members.

It will also hear CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s plea regarding the detention of party leader Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami.

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