SC defers hearing on Omar Abdullah’s detention till March 17

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SRINAGAR — The Supreme Court of India on Thursday deferred the hearing on a petition challenging the detention of former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, for the second time, after it was deferred till March 5, 2020 on its last hearing held on March 2.

The petition was moved by Sara Abdullah Pilot, sister of Omar Abdullah, accusing the J&K administration of usurping the ‘right to liberty’ of her brother by placing him under the Public Safety Act (PSA) despite him being under detention for the period of the last six months.

The matter will now be taken up on March 17, 2020. The bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra told Kapil Sibal, representing the petitioner Sara Abdullah Pilot that no proceedings will take place on Thursday as the CB will be sitting throughout the day.

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On its last hearing on March 2, 2020, the two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justice Indira Banerjee and Arun Mishra, headed by the latter, while conducting the proceedings on a petition challenging the detention of the former Chief Minister of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah under PSA, heard the objections of government through Attorney General Tushar Mehta.

Tushar Mehta in a previous hearing had told the court that the petitioner before filing the petition in Supreme Court had not approached High Court.

Pertinently the court, in its hearing, prior to the one on March 2, had issued a notice to the Jammu and Kashmir Government to submit its objections, in connection with the plea made by the petitioner.

While representing the petitioner Sara Abdullah, on March 5, senior Supreme Court lawyer and Congress leader Kapil Sibal requested the court to expedite the proceedings; however, the court refused to accept and said in its response that the court was ready to examine the validity of PSA, slapped against Omar Abdullah and fixed March 5 as the next date of the hearing.

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The decision of the court to defer the hearing yet again for the second time on Thursday has disappointed the petitioner side, which expected some headway in the proceedings today.

Presently, three former chief ministers, Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are facing detention since August 5, 2019, after the revocation of Article 370 and all three have been slapped with PSA, under which a detainee can be held for a period two years.

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