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Former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti’s preventive detention extended by 3 months

Mehbooba Mufti is currently being kept under detention at her official residence 'Fair View', which has been converted into a subsidiary jail.

May 6, 2020 13:27 IST
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Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s preventive detention under Public Safety Act was extended for another three months on May 5, 2020. The detention of the PDP Chief was extended hours before it was due to expire.

The detention of two other leaders-Ali Mohammed Sagar and Sartaj Madani- has also been extended for 3 months. Ali Mohammed Sagar is a senior National Conference leader and the General Secretary of the party, while Sartaj Madani is a senior PDP leader and uncle of Mehbooba Mufti.

The Home Department of the Jammu and Kashmir administration extended the detention through an order under the public order provisions of the PSA act.

Key Highlights

Mehbooba Mufti is currently being kept under detention at her official residence 'Fair View', which has been converted into a subsidiary jail.

The PDP leader was shifted to her home on April 7, providing partial relief to her. Prior to that, she spent over eight months in detention at two government facilities that were converted into sub-jails.

She was initially detained in a government guesthouse in Chashma Shahi and then a bungalow on Maulana Azad Road near Lal Chowk.

The other two senior J&K politicians, Ali Mohammed Sagar and Sartaj Madani, have been detained in a government accommodation at Gupkar road.

The six-month preventive detention of all the three leaders along with Mufti’s political rival, former J&K CM Omar Abdullah was extended on February 5, 2020 by invoking PSA act.

Mehbooba Mufti's daughter files habeas corpus writ petition

Mehbooba Mufti's daughter, Iltija, filed a habeas corpus writ petition before the Supreme Court in February 2020, challenging her mother's detention. Following this, the three-judge SC bench issued a notice to the J&K administration seeking a response to the plea. 

The Supreme Court had posted the matter for hearing on March 18, however, the petition was not taken up for discussion due to the coronavirus outbreak.

What is Habeas Corpus writ?

The writ of habeas corpus seeks production of the detained individual before a court along with valid reasons for the person’s detention. The writ demands a public official such as warden to produce the imprisoned individual before the court. 

Background

Three former J&K Chief Ministers, Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah were placed under preventive detention on August 5, 2020 for six months. Other senior political leaders of the state were also detained on the same day. The senior J&K politicians were detained just before the centre revoked Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and divided the state into two union territories- J&K and Ladakh. 

The Jammu and Kashmir administration invoked the Public Safety Act (PSA) to extend the detentions of the three former Chief Ministers and two senior politicians.

National Conference party President Farooq Abdullah was released from PSA detention on March 5, 2020. Almost two weeks later, his son Omar Abdullah was also released from his 8-month detention. Omar Abdullah was released on March 24, just a day before the implementation of the nationwide lockdown. Many other J&K politicians were also released by the government in the last couple of months.

What is the PSA Act?

The Public Safety Act of Jammu and Kashmir is a defensive detention law, which allows the administration to take a person into custody to prevent him/ her from acting in any matter that is prejudicial to “the security of the state or maintenance of the public order”.

Also read: What is Public Safety Act of Jammu & Kashmir: All you need to know

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