“If You Are Releasing Omar Abdullah, Do it Soon”: Supreme Court to Centre

Omar Abdullah has been in detention under the PSA since August when the Centre revoked the J&K’s special status and divided the state into two UTs.

New Delhi| The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration to inform by next week if it is releasing former chief minister Omar Abdullah, who has been detained since the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and MR Shah told counsel appearing for the Centre that Abdullah’s sister Sara Abdullah Pilot’s plea against his detention will be heard on merit if he is not released soon.

“If you are releasing Omar Abdullah, release him soon or we will hear his sister’s plea against his detention on merit,” the Supreme Court told Centre on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court was hearing a plea by Sara Abdullah Pilot, seeking release from detention of her brother Omar Abdullah. On March 5, the SC had said that it will hear, after Holi break, the petition filed by Sara Pilot, challenging her brother’s detention under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA), 1978.

As Omar completed six months in custody, the state administration ordered his continued detention under the PSA that empowers authorities to hold any person for two more years.

Sara Pilot termed the February 5 order under the PSA “unconstitutional”, Omar’s sister, said it violated fundamental rights and filed a Habeas Corpus petition.

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In her petition, Pilot argued that Omar Abdullah was a votary of peace and there was overwhelming evidence in the form of tweets and public statements to prove the same.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has defended Omar’s detention in the top court citing the leader’s “past conduct” and the possibility of such conduct being repeated on his release, which may “prejudice the public order”.

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