Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) chief Vaiko has moved a petition in the Supreme Court, seeking a direction to allow former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Dr. Farooq Abdullah to travel to Chennai in order to attend an event in the city on September 15. He has filed a habeas corpus petition in the Apex court. Dr. Abdullah has been under house arrest in Srinagar since the first week of August.
In the plea, Vaiko has asked for the Court to intervene so that Dr. Abdullah be allowed to travel to Chennai to attend the event which marks the birthday of Tamil Nadu's former Chief Minister, CN Annadurai. This year, the event is being held on Sunday, September 15, and Dr. Abdullah had attended the previous editions of the event and had promised to do the same this year as well.
The petition also stated that he, Vaiko, had written a letter to the authorities on August 29 seeking their permission to allow Dr Abdullah to travel, however, there was no response. The letter was to the Central government as well the Secretary, Home Department, Jammu and Kashmir.
The petition also mentions that Dr. Abdullah's freedom of speech and expression is being curtailed by not allowing him to travel.
"That the Petitioner’s (MDMK) conference is an embodiement of this right to free speech and expression which is enshrined under Article 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution of India, as it fosters a spirit of democratic debate and inquiry in a respectful and peaceful environment...
...That by placing Dr Abdulla in wrongful detention without any authority of law and not allowing him to attend the Petitioner’s conference the primary fundamental right of protection of life and liberty guaranteed by the Constitution of India has been deprived....
... That by not allowing Dr Abdulla to attend the Petitioner’s conference and express his views in a democratically sanctioned manner, the right to an individuals’s right to speech and expression is being unreasonably and illegally curtailed by the Respondents."
Dr. Farooq Abdullah and various other leaders from Jammu and Kashmir are under house arrest since the first week of August, before the repeal of Article 370. Vaiko also mentioned that he has been trying to contact Dr. Abdullah directly but hasn't succeeded in doing so.