Press Trust of india

SC seeks J&K admin's response on plea against Mehbooba Mufti's detention under PSA

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New Delhi, Feb 26: The Supreme Court Wednesday sought response of the Jammu and Kashmir administration on a plea challenging former J-K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti's detention under the Public Safety Act.

Mufti was arrested moments after the Rajya Sabha passed the law to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories (UTs) in August last year following the abrogation of Article 370 which had granted special status to the erstwhile state.

The UT authorities on February 05 invoked the Public Safety Act (PSA) provision against Mufti to keep her in detention which has been challenged by her daughter Iltija Mufti before the top court.

Issuing notice to the UT administration, the bench also asked Iltija to give an undertaking stating that she has not filed any other petition before other judicial forum, including the high court, challenging the detention of her mother.

Iltija had filed a habeas corpus petition in the apex court challenging the government's order for invoking the PSA provision against the PDP chief.

Habeas corpus is a writ seeking production of a person, who has allegedly been in illegal detention, before a court.

The bench, also comprising Justices Vineet Saran and M R Shah, asked Iltija's counsel Nitya Ramakrishnan as to why she did not move to the high court with the plea.

Referring to an order of the high court, the lawyer said that it cannot hear such a plea and moreover, the apex court has already entertained a similar petition filed against the detention of another former chief minister of the erstwhile state Omar Abdullah.

The bench has now posted the plea for hearing on March 18.

During the brief hearing, the lawyer for Iltija said the impugned dossier, which formed the basis for invocation of the PSA, was "manifestly biased slanderous, libellous" against Mufti.

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