MDMK leader Vaiko has filed a habeas corpus plea in the Supreme Court seeking production of Lok Sabha MP Farooq Abdullah in the court. In his plea filed on Wednesday, Vaiko said that Farooq is not being allowed by the authorities to attend a seminar organised in Chennai.
He urged the top court to direct the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration to produce former CM Farooq Abdullah before the court.
Vaiko said that Farooq is his close friend and the constitutional rights conferred on the National Conference (NC) leader have been deprived of on account of illegal detention without any authority of law.
Authorities should allow Farooq Abdullah to attend a peaceful and democratic annual conference in Chennai on September 15, on the occasion of birthday of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister CN Annadurai, he said.
He submitted that Farooq had attended previous editions of the conference. However, on or around 05.08.2019, Farooq Abdullah was placed under detention in Srinagar.
"Despite efforts, the petitioner was unable to contact him," the petition stated.
"The actions of the respondents (Centre and Jammu and Kashmir) are completely illegal and arbitrary and violative of the right to protection of life and personal liberty, right to protection from arrest and detention and also against right to free speech and expression which is the cornerstone of a democratic nation," the plea added.
The Centre has, however, in the Parliament last month clarified that Farooq Abdullah was not under house arrest. Home Minister Amit Shah had said that "if he doesn’t want to come then we cannot make him do so at gun-point".
Vaiko said he had written a letter to the authorities on August 29 to allow Farooq Abdullah to travel to Chennai to attend the conference but they have not responded. He said that he had even spoken to Farooq over phone on August 4 to invite him for the event.
Farooq Abdullah, Vaiko claimed, verbally communicated that he would be glad to attend the conference but he along with other political leaders were placed under wrongful detention.
The Modi government had on August 5 revoked Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.