[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Jammu and Kashmir High Court on September 11, 2019, asked the state government to arrange a meeting of two Members of Parliament (MPs) of the National Conference, Hasnain Masoodi and Akbar Lone with their detained party leaders Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah.
The court instructed Srinagar’s deputy commissioner, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, to communicate the dates of the proposed meetings to Hasnain Masoodi and Akbar Lone at the earliest.
The MPs have also been asked to meet the party’s president and vice president separately on different occasions, either on the same day or on different days.
Additionally, the Court asked the two MPs that after the meeting, they shall not disclose to the media their deliberations with them the party leaders and former Chief Ministers of the state, who are under detention in Srinagar for more than a month now.
The petitioner will ensure that their meeting with their party president and vice president is restricted to a courtesy call to know their wellbeing.
Before the High Court, the petitioners had alleged that their party’s two top functionaries had been under house arrest since August 5, 2019, and had not been permitted to meet any party worker or even the relatives. Petitioners claimed that they, besides being members of the political party of J&K National Conference, are also close friends of above-named functionaries of the party and, therefore, are interested in their wellbeing.
In response, the Advocate General of Jammu and Kashmir had told the court that there was no formal restriction put on the petitioners to meet their party President and Vice President. In short, it was the submission of Advocate General, as reflected in the court’s order, that the State may not be averse to the meeting of petitioners with their President and Vice President, provided petitioners ensure that they would not do anything aimed at vitiating the peaceful atmosphere.
Recently, Marumalarchi DravidaMunnetraKazhagam (MDMK) chief and RajyaSabha MP Vaiko had also filed a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court for former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah seeking the production of the latter before the court.
In his plea, Vaiko had said Abdullah remains incommunicado, maintaining that he was invited as a guest for birthday celebrations of former Tamil Nadu CM CN Annadurai. He requested the top court that Abdullah be presented before the apex court and is permitted to attend Annadurai’s celebrations on September 11.
A host of mainstream political leaders and separatist leaders remain under detention in the state. However, former Chief ministers including Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah besides Mehbooba Mufti and others are now allowed brief visits by their relatives.
Previously, Peoples Democratic Party chief and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Sana Iltija had moved the Supreme Court to meet her mother.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had allowed Iltija to meet her mother after she submitted in court that she has no problem in going to their Srinagar home but was not been able to move freely in the city.