NC patron Farooq Abdullah has been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) on Sunday night. Kashmir sources of Republic Media Network have informed that the Home Ministry detained the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir after declaring his house as a subsidiary jail. While there is no bar on meeting relatives and friends, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister will continue to stay in his house.
As per the PSA provisions, the government could detain a person for up to two years, although, for 'first-time offenders' the length of the detention is limited to six months. However, in the case of "no improvement in the conduct of the detainee," the detention can be extended to its full course of two years. The PSA act was initially promulgated during Sheikh Abdullah, the father of Farooq Abdullah's tenure.
On Monday Supreme Court sought a response from the PM Modi-led government and the Jammu and Kashmir administration on a Habeas corpus plea seeking to produce Srinagar MP Farooq Abdullah before Court, who has been put under house arrest since the abrogation of Article 370 on security grounds.
A day before the abrogation, Home Minister had explicitly said in the Parliament that the National Conference leader, who missed the Parliament session that day, cannot be brought on 'gunpoint' and that he is at home by his own will. Later in the day, the former CM of J&K accused Amit Shah of 'lying.'
Home Minister on August 6 said, "I have made it clear thrice, Farooq Abdullah ji is at his home, he is not under house arrest, he is not under detention. He is in good health, mauj-masti mein hain, unko nahi ana hai toh gun kanpatti par rakh kar bahar nahi la sakte hum." (he is enjoying, if he doesn't want to come, we can't bring him on gunpoint)
However, hours later, a disgruntled Farooq Abdullah accused the Home Minister of lying saying, "My son is in jail. And I don't know how many more poor people will be in jail. I think this is the price we need to pay to make India democratic. Home Minister is lying in the Parliament that I'm not house-arrested, that I am staying inside my house at my own will. Why would I stay inside my house on my own will when my state is being burnt, when my people are being executed in jails? This is not the India I believe in."
On September 13, High Court of Jammu and Kashmir permitted two NC Members of Parliament to meet president Farooq Abdullah and vice president Omar Abdullah in their home. Since the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, mainstream Kashmiri leaders including NC leader Omar Abdullah, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, JKPC president Sajad Lone, and others have been detained in government guest houses by the Centre citing security concerns.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer issued a notice to the Centre and the state and fixed Rajya Sabha MP and MDMK leader Vaiko's plea for hearing on September 30.
Vaiko, who said he is a close friend of Abdullah for the past four decades, contended that constitutional rights conferred to Farooq Abdullah had been deprived of on account of "illegal detention without any authority of law." He filed a habeas corpus petition in the Apex court on September 11. "Union home minister said Farooq Abdullah was not under any kind of detention, but we don't know his whereabouts," MDMK leader Vaiko's counsel told SC.
However, the government objecting to the plea, said that Vaiko is not Farooq Abdullah's relative and his request for the release of the Kashmiri leader was "abuse of the process of law".
(With PTI inputs)