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Social Media Posts In Question Not From Omar Abdullah's FB Account: Sara Pilot Tells SC [Read Rejoinder]

Mehal Jain
17 March 2020 6:36 AM GMT
Social Media Posts In Question Not From Omar Abdullah
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Countering the explanation offered by the District Magistrate, J &K of the preventive detention of former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on February 5, his sister, Sarah Pilot, having moved the Supreme Court in a habeas corpus plea, has now contended that the material which the Magistrate claims to have relied on passing the impugned order has been revealed only for the first time in the reply affidavit.

In her rejoinder before the Apex Court, Pilot has attacked the Facebook posts supposedly relied on by the District Magistrate, J & K in passing order of preventive detention. She has alleged that the said posts have surfaced for the first time in the reply filed on behalf the Magistrate, that the posts which have been "purportedly" attributed to Abdullah and "maliciously" used against him have "axiomatically" satisfied the Magistrate of "his likelihood to partake in activities prejudicial to public order".

She has argued that the non-supply of these materials at the initial stage impaired the detenue's constitutional right of effective representation as in Article 22(5), thereby vitiating the impugned order.

She has averred that she was "shocked" to discover that the social media posts in question were not even made through Abdullah's verified Facebook account. Further, a scrutiny of the concerned URL reveals that the same does not exist and no page is hosted on it, and hence, a fortiori, the material on which the impugned order is based is actually non-existent.

Accordingly, Pilot as imputed to the Magistrate and the Police "manifest dereliction of duty" and "malicious non-application of mind", "commanding strict action in law". She has claimed that the entire exercise is from its very inception "malafide and vexatious" calling for costs/strictures against the respondents.

On the contrary, she seeks to convey that Abdullah's twitter posts reflect his "conscientious" and "concerted" efforts, as a prominent public figure, to implore the citizenry to "stay clam", "to not take the law in their hands" and that "violate ce will only play in the hand of those who do not have the state's best interests in mind".

"It is appalling to observe the statement of the Respondent no 2 (Srinagar District Magistrate) that the geographical proximity of the UT of J&K with the Republic of Pakistan is deemed to be an overarching feature that can contextually modify the concept of 'public order'. Needless to add that Pakistan is in close geographical proximity to three other states of India (Gujarat, Punjab & Rajasthan) as well and by the extended logic of the Respondent no 2, 'public order' in such states would also be contextually modified," she stated in a rejoinder affidavit

Click Here To Download Affidavit

[Read Affidavit]

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