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Mehbooba’s daughter seeks direction to J&K police to produce her mother in Supreme Court, case listed on March 18

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

The government dossier justifies detaining former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) on grounds such as she was “scheming, hard-headed and a daddy’s girl” with a “short-lived marriage”, Iltija Mufti, her daughter, informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

In a habeas corpus petition, Ms. Iltija Mufti sought a direction to the J&K police to produce her mother in the Supreme Court and set her at liberty. She also sought the court to quash the February 5, 2020 detention order of her mother under the PSA.

A three-judge Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra issued notice to the J&K government. It then listed the habeas corpus case on March 18, nearly a month later. The habeas corpus petition of another former Chief Minister of J&K, Omar Abdullah, is also pending in the Court.

The petition said Ms. Mufti had been termed ‘Kota Rani’ in the dossier. The name was an insult as it referred to a “Muslim queen who rose to power by dubious means such as by poisoning her opponents”.

The dossier called Ms. Mufti’s politics “cheap” and her mindset “communal and divisive”. Her “main motive is to create an atmosphere of fear and chaos”, it said.

According to the petition, the dossier mentioned that the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was of a “dubious nature” and questioned its “green-coloured flag”.

Ms. Iltija Mufti questioned how the PDP had been termed “dubious” when it had come to power twice and its last alliance in government was with the ruling party at the Centre — the BJP.

Refusal to sign bond

The petition said the “foremost” ground for the PSA detention was that Ms. Mehbooba Mufti refused to sign a bond or surety, which required her to not speak, comment or make statements in public about events “related to the recent events in J&K since it has the potential to to disturb the peace and tranquillity and law and order of J&K”.

In short, it was a demand for her to give a “blanket undertaking” to the government that she would not go public about the abrogation of J&K’s special status under Article 370 and the restrictions on public movement in the erstwhile State.

The dossier also mentioned some dozen or so “willy-nilly references” to “utterances” the former Chief Minister had made on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the anti-triple talaq law.

The petition asked what was wrong in criticising the CAA as even the Supreme Court had found it necessary to examine its constitutionality.

Secondly, the passage of the anti-triple talaq law, which made instant ‘talaq’ a crime and not a civil wrong, punished Muslims alone. Criticism of the law did not have the remotest possibility to incite disorder. Discussion of such a law confined to Muslims would naturally refer to Muslims only, the petition said.

Detention was a gag in the guise of a preventive detention order. If the utterances were criminal why not employ the normal criminal process. The detention under the PSA showed non-application of mind and was based on stale grounds, it said.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 7:30:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mehboobas-daughter-seeks-direction-to-jk-police-to-produce-her-mother-in-supreme-court-case-listed-on-march-18/article30920135.ece

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