The Supreme Court on Monday refused to pass order on habeas corpus petition filed by MDMK chief Vaiko to produce National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah before the court.
The apex court bench, presided by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, was hearing the petition filed by Vaiko pleading that since he cannot get in touch with Abdullah due to the restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir, the senior leader be released from house arrest.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that Abdullah has been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) and hence detained.
The bench, while closing the petition, said since the detention was under PSA it should be challenged before the appropriate forum and the apex court cannot pass order on this as of now.
Vaiko had filed a petition on 11 September urging the court to allow the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister to attend a conference in Chennai on 15 September. Vaiko had alleged that Abdullah’s constitutional rights were being infringed upon because of the “illegal detention without any authority of law".
On 16 September, Abdullah, who had been kept under house arrest since the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution on 5 August, was booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
Ironically, the draconian Act of 1978, which allows the central government to detain a person for two years without trial, if he or she is perceived to be a threat to public safety, was enacted by NC leader’s father Sheikh Abdullah.
Senior politicians of Jammu and Kashmir, including Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah, and Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti, have been under preventive detention following the Centre’s decision to revoke J&K’s special status.
The top court bench referred a bunch of petitions relating to validity of abrogation of Article 370 and related restrictions like curb on media and movement, and violation on children’s rights in the Valley, have been referred to a five-judge Constitution Bench.