NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Jammu & Kashmir administration how long it intended to detain former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti under the Public Safety Act, which was invoked to take politicians and divisive elements into preventive custody after scrapping the erstwhile states special status and its division into two Union Territories last year.
Hearing a petition filed by Muftis daughter Iltija, a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy asked solicitor general Tushar Mehta about the J&K administrations proposal on Mufti's detention, which it said “prima facie has exceeded one year period”. The ex-CM was detained on August 5 last year when the decision was taken to scrap the states special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.
The SG said a detailed reply had been filed by the Srinagar district magistrate to every allegation made by Itlija and sought two weeks time to file a reply to amendments made by her to the petition challenging her mothers indefinite detention. The bench asked Iltija's counsel Nitya Ramakrishnan why Mufti did not file the petition challenging her detention and instead her daughter did so. Ramakrishnan said since Iltija was in Delhi, it was easier for her to approach the SC.
This is exactly what the J&K administration objected to. It said the J&K HC was fully functional during the lockdown period and had quashed as many as 137 detention orders since August 5 last year. “The HC is fully functional and has quashed 137 detention orders since August 2019 while confirming 29 detention orders passed by the appropriate authority. The detenu has failed to disclose the reason or the justification for not approaching the HC,” it said.
The bench said the petition sought permission for Mufti “to attend to the affairs of the political party and allow visits”. “Such a blanket prayer would be difficult to countenance. But we are told that the brother of the petitioner has now met her. Thus, as and when a request is made to meet her, the same should be promptly considered by the concerned authorities in accordance with law," the bench said.
The administration said the real reason for detaining Mufti, even after former CMs Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah were released, was because of her track record in inciting trouble through her speeches.
The Srinagar DM said, “In the history of independent India, the existence and continuance of Article 370 of the Constitution has always remained a contentious and burning issue. The detenu has made multiple statements, which are also in public domain, clearly inciting violence, in the eventuality of any decision being taken regarding Article 370. Considering the very peculiar geopolitical position of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and its geographical Read More – Source