New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir on a plea challenging the detention of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah under the Public Safety Act (PSA).

The division bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, fixed the next date of hearing on 2 March despite the request by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Sara Abdullah Pilot, to hear the matter as early as possible since the plea is a habeas corpus petition.

The court had on Wednesday adjourned hearing in the matter as Justice M.M. Shantanagoudar, who was part of the three-judge bench scheduled to hear the matter, recused himself.

“It is rare that those who have served the nation as members of Parliament, chief ministers of a state, ministers in the Union, and have always stood by the national aspirations of India, are now perceived as a threat to the state," the plea by Pilot said.

“The grounds for the detention order are wholly lacking any material facts or particulars that are imperative for an order of detention," the plea said, adding that the detention order is illegal.

“Finally, the order conflates governmental policy with the Indian state, suggesting that any opposition to the former constitutes a threat to the later. This is wholly antithetical to a democratic polity and undermines the Indian Constitution," the petition said.

The plea sought issuance of habeas corpus commanding the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir to produce him before the court to set him for being set at liberty.

The plea has also sought quashing of the 5 February order detaining Abdullah under the PSA.

A dossier, justifying the imposition of the draconian PSA, said Abdullah’s “considerable influence" over people, as well as his ability to attract voters to polling booths during the peak of militancy, is a case for his detention under PSA.

Abdullah and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti were booked under PSA, nearly six months after they were placed under preventive detention.


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