SC turns down Vaiko’s plea on Farooq Abdullah

The Supreme Court has refused to give urgent hearing to a plea filed by MDMK general secretary Vaiko, seeking the Jammu and Kashmir government to produce former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, believed to be under detention following the dilution of Article 370, in court and set him free.

Justice Ramana, before whom the petition came up, said the Chief Justice of India would take a decision on when to hear the habeas corpus petition of Vaiko.

In his petition, Vaiko said Abdullah was scheduled to attend a conference organised by him in Chennai on September 15. He said the event was organised annually “on the occasion of the birthday of C N Annadurai, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, in the spirit of peaceful democratic debate and discussion so as to strengthen the unity and integrity of India”.

He has asked the Supreme Court to direct that Farooq Abdullah is presented before the apex court and that he is permitted to attend Annadurai’s celebrations on September 11.

A habeas corpus is a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person’s release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention.

The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader, in his 12-page petition, submitted that he has been unable to contact Abdullah, who had been invited for an event in Chennai on 15 September.

Vaiko added that he had written to authorities on August 29 to seek the permission of the Central government as well the Secretary, Home Department, Jammu and Kashmir, to allow Dr Farooq Abdullah to travel to Chennai in order to attend the conference in the interest of freedom of speech and in the spirit of encouraging democratic participation but he failed to get a response.