Article 370: Vaiko moves SC for direction to produce Farooq Abdullah in court

New Delhi , Sep 10 (PTI): Rajya Sabha MP and MDMK founder Vaiko Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir to produce former state Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, allegedly under detention following abrogation of Article 370, before the court.
In his plea, Vaiko has said that authorities should allow Abdullah to attend a “peaceful and democratic” annual conference, being organised in Chennai on September 15, on the occasion of birthday of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister C N Annadurai.
Vaiko, who said he is a close friend of Abdullah for past four decades, contended that constitutional rights conferred on the National Conference (NC) leader “have been deprived of on account of illegal detention without any authority of law”.
“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 said.
“The right to free speech and expression is considered to have paramount importance in a democracy as it allows its citizens to effectively take part in the governance of the country,” it said.
Vaiko said he had written a letter to the authorities on August 29 to allow Abdullah to travel to Chennai to attend the conference but they have not responded.
He said that he had spoken to Abdullah over phone on August 4 and had invited the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister to attend the conference on September 15.
He claimed Abdullah had “verbally communicated” that he would be glad to attend the conference but on August 5, Abdullah along with other political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir were placed under “wrongful detention”.
The Centre had on August 5 revoked Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and proposed that the state be bifurcated into two Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.