The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from the Center and the Jammu and Kashmir administration on a petition filed against the detention of former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz. His wife has filed a petition challenging Soz’s house arrest since August 5, 2019. The next hearing of the case will be held in July next month.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra issued notice to the central government and the Jammu and Kashmir administration and asked them to respond to the plea of the leader’s wife Mumtazunnisa Soz by the second week of July. Mumtazunnisa has also demanded to present the senior leader before the court and abolish the house arrest order.
Mumtazunnisa has alleged that her husband has not been informed of the reasons for her detention and is unable to challenge her arrest under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978. This makes his detention not only illegal and unconstitutional, but also horrifying.
Significantly, in August last year, the Central Government decided to remove Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and divide it into two Union Territories (Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh). During this period, several leaders including three former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti were placed under detention as a precautionary measure. On Wednesday, two prominent bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faisal PDP leaders Sartaj Madni and Pirzada Mansoor were released and placed under house arrest. Several leaders, including Farooq and Omar Abdullah have now been released.
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