A key Opposition leader has been jailed for over a year without recourse to trial, she says
Iltija Mufti, daughter of incarcerated Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti, on Wednesday filed a fresh plea before the Supreme Court (SC), challenging her mother’s detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA) and its extension.
Iltija Mufti. File | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma
The plea argued that “several grounds of detention, including the dossier, are stale, vague and that they suffer from non-application of mind, malice in law and violate the provisions of Section 8(3)(b) of the PSA”.
“We have decided to challenge both the PSA order and the extensions. My mother’s detention is illegal and questionable in a democracy. A key Opposition leader has been jailed for over a year without recourse to trial,” Ms. Iltija told The Hindu.
Ms. Mufti was arrested on August 5 last year and booked under the PSA in February this year.
On the SC’s earlier notice to the J&K administration on Ms. Mufti’s detention, Ms. Iltija said the J&K government “is yet to even file a reply and shows the respect it has for the courts and the SC”.
The plea highlighted the treatment meted out to Ms. Mufti. “She has been deliberately kept out of bounds for party people,” Ms. Iltija said.
The plea said Ms. Mufti’s Gupkar Road residence has been converted into a subsidiary jail and “she has not been allowed any visits by her close relatives barring a solitary visit by her brother and her sister’s husband on August 19 this year despite multiple requests”.
It also claimed that Ms Mufti’s sister Rubiya Sayeed, who herself has been a survivor of kidnapping by terrorists and has been a former Home Minister’s daughter, “has been treated like an anti-social element, in being disallowed to stay at the residence of Ms. Mufti and her mother”.
“Ms. Mufti has not been accorded a chance to attend to her duties as the president of the PDP. Even party officials and cadre who had applied to visit her on several occasions have not been granted permission.”
A letter was written by four members of the PDP to the district administration in August “but there has been no acknowledgement or action from the administration”.
“The continued non-allowance of opportunity to attend to her political affairs is a serious breach of her fundamental rights under Article 19(1)(a). The same is tantamount to the State’s unreasonably and unlawfully interfering with the affairs of an Opposition political party, which is completely antithetical to the value of democracy, a basic feature of the Constitution,” the plea reads.
It also claimed that Ms. Mufti continued “to have little access to the world outside and even her access to the landline telephone and Internet has been illegally and unreasonably disconnected”.
With inputs from The Hindu
(This story has not been edited by Kashmir Today staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)