"File Fresh Petition": Top Court To Vaiko On Farooq Abdullah Detention

Vaiko, a friend of Mr Abdullah for nearly 40 years, had petitioned the top court saying that the National Conference patriarch was detained illegally.

'File Fresh Petition': Top Court To Vaiko On Farooq Abdullah Detention

Farooq Abdullah, 83, has been under house arrest since August 5. (File)

New Delhi:

Farooq Abdullah is under detention under the Public Safety Act and his detention can be challenged before an "appropriate authority", the Supreme Court told MDMK chief Vaiko today, refusing to further entertain his petition. 

Mr Abdullah, 83, has been under house arrest since August 5, after the central government ended special status to Jammu and Kashmir and split the state into two Union territories. Mr Vaiko, a friend of Mr Abdullah for nearly 40 years, had petitioned the top court saying that the National Conference patriarch was detained illegally.

After the Jammu and Kashmir administration informed the top court that the National Conference leader has been detained under PSA, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi told Mr Vaiko's lawyer that he can challenge the detention order against Mr Abdullah under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act before the appropriate authority. 

"He (Farooq Abdullah) is under detention under the Public Safety Act," a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi told Mr Vaiko's counsel.

Mr Vaiko's counsel questioned the conduct of Jammu and Kashmir administration and claimed that few minutes before the scheduled hearing in the top on September 16, Mr Abdullah was detained under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act. 

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The PSA was brought in as a tough law to prevent the smuggling of timber. It allows the government to detain any person above 16 without trial for two years. In 2011, the minimum age was raised from 16 to 18. 

Over the decades, it came to be used against terrorists, separatists and stone-throwers. In 2016, during the protests that engulfed the Kashmir Valley following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani, more than 550 people were detained under the PSA.

For the first time since security measures were imposed after the Article 370 decision last month, a mainstream politician - an MP as well as three-time chief minister - has been booked under the PSA.

Mr Abdullah's son Omar Abdullah and his rival Mehbooba Mufti are also among hundreds of Jammu and Kashmir politicians who have been detained or arrested last month in the wake of the centre's move.