Jammu and Kashmir High Court allows NC MPs to meet Farooq, Omar, but bars them from addressing media

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Published: September 13, 2019 12:09:26 PM

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court's order came on a petition filed by NC MPs Hasnain Masoodi from Anantnag and Akbar Lone from Baramulla. They had sought permission from the court to meet Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah.

The HC order came as most of the top politicians have been taken into preventive custody including three former CMs — Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has allowed two MPs of the National Conference to meet ailing party chief Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah, but barred them from briefing the media about their meetings or deliberations with the duo.

The High Court’s order came on a petition filed by NC MPs Hasnain Masoodi from Anantnag and Akbar Lone from Baramulla. They had sought permission from the court to meet Farooq and Omar, alleging that the party’s top leadership had not been allowed to meet anyone.

The HC order came as most of the top politicians have been taken into preventive custody including three former CMs — Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. While Omar and Mufti have been placed under detention, Farooq has been living at his Srinagar residence but alleged that he was under house arrest.

Farooq is a Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar. He even missed the Parliament session last month when the Modi government moved a resolution to scrap the state’s special status and bifurcate it into two Union Territories. The Centre has, however, said that Farooq was neither detained nor placed under house arrest and he was free to go outside his residence.

While Omar has been placed under detention at Hari Niwas Place, Mufti is under detention at Chashmashahi Resort in Srinagar.

“…the petitioners shall ensure that their meeting with their party president and vice-president is restricted to a courtesy call and to know about the well-being of the aforesaid two persons… the petitioners, after meeting their party president and vice-president, shall not go to press/ media regarding their meeting and deliberations with the aforesaid persons,” the single-judge bench of Justice Sanjeev Kumar said in the order and directed Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar to take immediate steps to facilitate the meeting, preferably this week itself.

The government told the court that there was no “formal” restriction in place on meeting the politicians. It said that the administration was not averse to such meetings, but they should not “do anything aimed at vitiating the peaceful atmosphere”.

Earlier this week, MDMK leader Vaiko had filed a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court seeking directions be given to the Centre and the state administration to produce Farooq Abdullah before the court as he was unable to contact his friend.

Earlier this month, a report in The Indian Express said that Omar and Mufti were recently allowed to meet their family members twice.

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