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New Delhi:

The Supreme Court on Friday sought reply from the Jammu and Kashmir government and other authorities on Sara Pilot’s petition challenging the detention of her brother and former J& K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra declined to entertain submission by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Sara, seeking immediate relief in the Habeas Corpus petition. The top court has fixed March 2, as the next hearing on the matter and declined to list it before 15 days.

Sibal insisted the brother of her client is under detention. The court inquired on what grounds is he under detention. “To avoid statements from political leader which incite violence,” replied Sibal citing his detention since midnight of August 4 last year.

Sara Abdullah Pilot, in the petition, said when her brother’s release was imminent, “the petitioner has shockingly learnt about his new detention under the provisions of the Public Safety Act (under which their father also remains detained), which could have no application to one who has anyway been in custody over several months in a state that was under a complete lockdown.”

Sara has urged the apex court to issue writ in the nature of Habeas Corpus commanding the authorities concerned to produce “the person of the detenue forthwith before this Hon’ble Court for being set at liberty.”

Sara contended that apart from the obvious fact that her brother had disagreement with the policies of the Centre, it is a lawful right of a citizen in a democracy (especially to a member of the opposition), it is submitted that all such observations were not supported by any material whether in the form of social media posts or otherwise.

“There exists overwhelming evidence in the form of tweets and public statements made by the detenue prior to this detention that point towards the exemplary conduct of the detenue wherein the detenue as a votary of peace and public order and has repeatedly requested general people to maintain peace and tranquillity,” said Sara in her petition.

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