Iltija Mufti, the daughter of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti, on Wednesday again approached the Supreme Court against the “illegal and questionable” detention of her mother as well as its extension, Hindustan Times reported. She demanded the cancellation of detention orders and a compensation for her mother.
Iltija Mufti told the top court that the dossier and the grounds of her mother’s detention were “stale, vague and that they suffer from non-application of mind, malice in law and that they violate the provisions of sections 8(3)(b) of the PSA”. She added that her mother, an important opposition leader, had been “jailed” for over a year without recourse to trial.
“The detention order based on stale grounds have become staler even more since the petition was filed and the respondent administration has continued to act with total non-application of mind and the malice in law has only been reinforced and aggravated in confirming and extending the order of detention for further periods,” Iltija Mufti added in her petition, according to PTI.
Iltija Mufti had first filed the petition against her mother’s detention in February. The case was scheduled to be listed for March 18. She told the top court that the Jammu and Kashmir administration was yet to file its reply to the petition. “And it shows you the respect they have for courts and the SC [Supreme Court],” she said.
Iltija Mufti said that her mother had continued to be kept under detention because she had refused to sign a bond. “This bond and surety which she was repeatedly asked to sign, included the promise that: “In case of release from detention, she will not make any comment(s) or issue statement(s) or make public speech(s), hold or participate in public assemblies related to the recent events in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, at the present time, since it has the potential of endangering the peace and tranquility and law and order in the State or any part thereof,” Iltija Mufti said, according to Hindustan Times.
She added: “Thus, the admitted basis of the detention is a blanket undertaking not to make any comment on the recent events in the State.”
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Iltija Mufti also told the court that her mother had not been allowed to even meet the members of her party. “I am bringing to notice of court the treatment Miss Mufti has received and that she has been deliberately kept out of bounds for party people and not been allowed to attend to her duties as J&K PDP [Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party] President,” she said.
Mehbooba Mufti has been in detention for nearly a year since the Centre scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5 to abrogate Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, and split it into the two Union Territories.
Almost all of the Kashmir Valley’s political leadership, including two other former chief ministers – Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah – were detained last year. Omar Abdullah was released seven months later on March 24 as the Jammu and Kashmir administration revoked his detention order under the Public Safety Act. Farooq Abdullah was released on March 13.
Mufti is the only major political leader who is officially under detention, according to The Hindu.