Mehbooba Petition Posted For October 15, Govt Invokes JKs Geopolitical Position

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SRINAGAR: Supreme Court on Tuesday posted the matter of the habeas corpus petition filed by the former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers’ daughter Iltija Mujfti for October 15. The government will respond to the amended petition that Ms Mufti has filed.

Supreme Court of India

Iltija Mufti has preferred an urgent plea, seeking an amendment to the main prayers sought in the Habeas Corpus plea — to include grounds of challenge, additional prayers for challenging the orders of confirmation and subsequent extensions of MehboobaMufti’s Detention orders.

The Habeas Corpus petition was taken up by a Justice SK Kaul led bench after about 7 months since it was last listed in the top court.

Advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan says that the Mufti has not been allowed to meet her family. To her reply Justice Kaul asks her how that can be possible, considering she is in detention.

Justice Kaul has granted time to the union government to file a reply to the amendment plea within a week.

Justice Kaul asked Solicitor General that for how long and under what order against detention was made. “You’ll have to address us on the ground of detention and what is the maximum period and whether you can extend it beyond it one year.”

Justice Kaul also wanted to know the proposal of the Government and how long do they propose to extend it?

The Solicitor General took up the previous statements made by Mehbooba Mufti at the time of Abrogation of Article 370, like “Jo Haath Lagayega, wo jal kar raakh hojaega“.

Interestingly, in the reply to justify the continued detention of Ms Mufti, the government has invoked the geopolitical position.

CM Mehbooba received PM Modi in Jammu early Tuesday on April 19, 2016.

CM Mehbooba received PM Modi in Jammu early Tuesday on April 19, 2016.

“It is submitted that considering the very peculiar geopolitical position of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh and its geographical proximity with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the concept of “public order” needs to be examined contextually,” the government said in its response to the main petition.

The other argument is that the petitioner should have gone to the High Court first which is fully functional. Since August 2019, the response said the High Court has quashed 137 detention orders and confirmed 29.

Giving details, the response said the dossier against Ms Mufti was sent by the SSP (LGL/Det-3207/2020/1255-58) on February 5, 2020 on basis of which the Deputy Commissioner issued detention orders under Section 8, PSA, vide order No DMS/PSA/147/2019 dated 05.02.2020. Home Department, of Jammu and Kashmir, vide confirmed the order (Home/PB-V/372 of 2020) on February 14.

Ms Mufti was lodged in Subsidiary Jail, Transport Yard, Srinagar vide corrigendum order dated February 6, 2020, and later shifted to and lodged at Fairview, Gupkar Road, Srinagar, vide G.O. No. Home/PB-V/913 of 2020 dated April 7, 2020, under Section 10 (b) of Jammu and Kashmir PSA, 1978, which has been declared as Subsidiary Jail vide Notification S.O. 118 dated April 6, 2020.

The other peculiarity of the response is that it has invoked Section 10A of the Public Safety Act.

 

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