The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a petition by MDMK leader Vaiko challenging detention of National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah. The apex court said that Abdullah has been detained under Public Safety Act (PSA) and that order will be open to challenge before an appropriate forum. Since Vaiko's petition did not have that prayer the SC decided to dismiss his plea.
The SC-bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi shifted all remaining matters challenging detention and imposition of clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir to the five judge bench that will hear the petitions challenging Art 370 beginning Tuesday (October 1). On September 16, the Centre had informed the SC that Abdullah has been detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA). It is to be noted that the veteran National Conference leader has been kept under house arrest since August 5 when the Centre abrogated Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The decision to detain Abdullah under PSA was taken on September 15. Under PSA, the government can keep a person under detention for upto 2 years without a trial. Though Farooq Abdullah has been detained under PSA, there is no bar on him meeting relatives and friends at his Srinagar residence, which has been converted into a subsidiary jail.
Meanwhile, the SC had issued a notice to the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration on September 16 seeking a response on a plea filed by Vaiko seeking the release of Farooq Abdullah. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer had issued notice and said that it will next hear this matter on September 30.
In his plea, Vaiko, who is a close friend of Abdullah, had contended that constitutional rights conferred on the National Conference leader had been deprived of on account of "illegal detention without any authority of law".