The Supreme Court has questioned the Centre on the release of former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah. Asking the government to inform the court if it is planning to release Omar Abdullah from custody, the Supreme Court gave the Centre one week.
“If you are releasing Omar Abdullah, release him soon or we will hear his sister’s plea against his detention on merit,” the Supreme Court told Centre on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court was hearing a plea by Sara Abdullah Pilot, seeking release from detention of her brother Omar Abdullah. On March 5, the SC had said that it will hear after Holi break the petition filed by Sara Pilot, challenging her brother’s detention under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA), 1978.
On March 2, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had told the Supreme Court that Omar Abdullah has been a “very vocal critic” of the abrogation of Article 370 and his presence would pose an “imminent threat to public order”.
The administration also objected to the petition filed by Omar Abdullah’s sister challenging his detention under the Jammu and Kashmir PSA, 1978. “Omar Abdullah has been a very vocal critic of any possible abrogation of Article 370 prior to its abrogation in August 5, 2019, considering the very peculiar geopolitical position of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and its geographical proximity with Pakistan, the concept of ‘public order’ needs to be examined contextually,” stated the affidavit submitted by Srinagar District Magistrate.
Omar Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah and other leaders, including another chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti, were detained on August 5 last year, the day the Centre withdrew special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Last week, Omar Abdullah’s father Farooq Abdullah was released after being in detention for several months. After NC president Farooq Abdullah was released, he met his son Omar Abdullah in the sub-jail in Srinagar where he has been under detention for over the last seven months.
The National Conference (NC) president was booked under the PSA on September 15 while his son was booked hours before his six month tenure of preventive detention was to come to an end on February 5 this year.