New Delhi: A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi allowed Sana Iltija, daughter of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief and former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, to meet the latter. Mufti has been under detention since the abrogation of Article 370.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Iltija in which she had urged the court to direct the authorities in Srinagar to allow her to meet her mother. Iltija had submitted that she was concerned about her mother’s health as had not met her in a month.
The SC bench allowed the meeting.
However, even as Attorney General K.K. Venugopal maintained that they had no objection to Mufti’s daughter being allowed to meet her as others too had met the PDP chief under house arrest, the government argued that Iltija need not have approached the SC as the district magistrate was the first option to exhaust.
The petitioner, however, said the authorities had not allowed her to meet her mother when she made an attempt earlier, which forced her to stay put in Chennai.
The government has, however, denied the allegation.
Iltija’s advocate Aakarsh Kamra said the relief sought in the petition was similar to what Yechury was granted.
Freedom to move around
Iltija had also pleaded before the court to be allowed to roam “freely” in Srinagar. To this, the bench asked her what was the need to roam around as it’s “cold in Srinagar”.
The apex court, however, said she could move around in other parts of Srinagar, subject to prior permission from the authorities, if needed.
Mehbooba Mufti is among several political leaders who were put under detention on August 4, a day before the Centre moved to revoke Article 370 that granted Jammu and Kashmir special status.
The government maintains that the step was taken as a measure to prevent any protests over the government’s decision to end special status to J&K and bifurcate the state into two union territories.
Kashmir has since been under a lockdown, with a communication blockade and restrictions in place — a decision that has become a political and diplomatic flashpoint for the Narendra Modi-led government.
Previous habeas corpus petitions
On August 30, the Supreme Court had allowed a law student to visit his parents in Anantnag district, besides permitting CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury to meet party colleague Tarigami. The apex court was adjudicating on two habeas corpus petitions filed before it.
Mohammad Aleem Syed, a student from Jamia Millia Islamia University, and Yechury had both approached the court soon after the Presidential order scrapped Article 370.
The student has filed a formal affidavit in a sealed cover before the SC, as directed by the court, detailing what transpired during his visit to Srinagar.
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