In a minor reprieve to former Jammu-Kashmir CMs Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, Supreme Court on Monday has agreed to hear pleas challenging the leaders' detention since August 5 on Thursday - March 5. The Centre - represented by Attorney General K K Venugopal had opposed the maintainability of the plea saying the petitioners should approach Jammu Kashmir High Court, while the J&K administration too had maintained the same. Abdullah's sister - Sara Abdullah Pilot had moved the Supreme Court on challenging her brother's detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA), while Mufti's daughter Iltija Iqbal had done the same.
Terming the February 5 order under the PSA “unconstitutional”, Omar’s sister said it violated fundamental rights and filed a Habeas Corpus petition. She had also said that the order was "manifestly illegal" and there was no question of him being a "threat to the maintenance of public order". In response, the SC bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Indira Banerjee had issued notice to the Jammu and Kashmir administration to respond to the plea by March 2.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Monday said that there are no reasons to refer batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of abrogation of provisions of Article 370 to the larger 7-judge bench. The Bench said that there is no conflict of decisions between Prem Nath Kaul and Sampath Prakash. On September 30, the Supreme Court had set-up a five-judge Constitution Bench.
On February 6, J&K administration slapped the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) against Mehboonba Mufti, Shah Faesal and former CM Omar Abdullah and subsequently, Shah Faesal. Previously on December 14, Omar's father Farooq Abdullah's detention was extended by another three months by the Jammu-Kashmir administration after initially being charged on August 5. While several minor politicians have been released in a phased manner by the administration, political leaders Ali Mohammed Sagar, Naeem Akhtar, Sartaj Madani, and Hilal Lone too have been charged under the PSA. Meanwhile, former PDP minister Altaf Bukhari-led 'new political front' is set to meet PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to demand the restoration of statehood and domicile rights.