The Supreme Court Judge Justice MM Shantanagoudar today has recused himself from hearing the plea filed by Sara Abdullah Pilot the sister of former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah, challenging the detention of her brother under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act.
The said plea came up for hearing before a three-judge bench comprising justices NV Ramana, Shantanagoudar and Sanjiv Khanna. However, Justice Shantanagoudar recused from hearing saying “I am not participating in this matter,” without citing any specific reason for the same.
Earlier, on 10 February, Omar’s sister Sara has filed a habeas corpus petition seeking for his physical presence while quashing his detention, contending that the detention is purely based on political reasons. The petition argued that the dossier “contains patently false and ridiculous material, essentially accusing the detenu of becoming a popular figure among general masses and possessing considerable influence over people.”
Omar has been in detention since 5 August 2019, when Centre abrogated Article 370 and converted Jammu and Kashmir into a union territory. Thereafter, before the expiry of six months of the detention period which was earlier ordered on 5 August 2019 under Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, fresh detention orders under the Public Safety Act were issued against Omar and another ex-Chief Minister of J&K, Mehbooba Mufti in February 2020.
The plea stated that on the intervening night of 4 to 5 August 2019, Omar Abdullah, was put under house arrest and it was later learned that section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, was invoked to justify the arrest.
“There has been a grave violation of Articles 14, 21 and 22 of the Constitution,” the plea asserted.
The matter is likely to be listed before a new Bench on Thursday.