The Supreme Court has today agreed to hear the petition filed by the ex-Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah’s sister, Sarah Abdullah Pilot, challenging her brother’s detention under the Public Safety Act, 1978.
The bench comprising of Justices Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee has considered hearing the petition on Thursday, after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that J&K administration has filed an affidavit in the matter. Observing that the matter pertains to liberty, the bench further rejected the Attorney General KK Venugopal’s submission, which stated that Sara has not demonstrated any reason for not approaching the High Court in the first instance but rather directly coming to the Supreme Court.
Sara, Omar’s sister and the wife of Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, contended that the detention of her brother is purely based on political reasons. She 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 the 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.
Subsequently, on 10 February, Sara Pilot has moved to Supreme Court challenging his detention.
Meanwhile, a habeas corpus petition was also filed by Iltija Mufti, daughter of ex-CM Mehbooba Mufti who along with Omar has been in detention since 5 August 2019. The same has been scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court on 18 March.