SC notice to J&K on plea by Omar Abdullah's sister for his release

SC notice to J&K on plea by Omar Abdullah's sister for his release

Agency News

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has issued notice on Friday to the Jammu and Kashmir administration on the plea filed by Omar Abdullah’s sister Sara Abdullah Pilot against his detention.

The Supreme Court said it would take up the case again on March 2, rejecting senior lawyer Kapil Sibal's request to hear it earlier. In her plea, Sara Abdullah Pilot had petitioned the Supreme Court against his detention and had asked that he be produced in court and freed immediately.

"We were hoping, as this is a habeas corpus case, that the release would be sooner. We have full faith in the justice system. We are here in hope that the people of Kashmir have the same rights as the rest of India. We are waiting for that day," said Sara Abdullah Pilot.

Earlier this month, the former chief minister -- in detention since August 5 when the government ended special status to Jammu and Kashmir -- was charged under the stringent law that allows detention without trial for up to three months, and this can be extended. Mr Abdullah's father Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, also former chief ministers, have been detained under the same law, which is used mostly against terrorists and stone-throwers.

Kapil Sibal requested the court to move the hearing sooner than March 2, pleading: "It is a matter of liberty and can't wait." The Supreme Court, commenting that Mr Abdullah's sister had waited for one year, said: "You waited a long time."

Mr Sibal then pointed out that this was the second detention order that was being challenged. The court, however, remained firm on the next date.

Pilot had on February 10 approached the top court challenging her brother's detention under the J&K Public Safety Act, 1978, saying the order of detention is 'manifestly illegal' and there is no question of him being a 'threat to the maintenance of public order'. Sara Abdullah Pilot says in her petition that her brother's arrest is a grave violation of his constitutional rights and part of a "consistent and concerted effort to muzzle all political rivals".