CHENNAI: The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party's (MDMK) General Secretary Vaiko on Wednesday filed a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court to produce former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah, the party said.
Vaiko, also a Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament, sought direction from the Court to grant Abdullah liberty to attend a conference in Chennai.
The conference is being organised by Vaiko on September 15.
Vaiko told the court that for several years, he has been organising a conference in Chennai on the occasion of the birthday of Thiru. C. N. Annadurai, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
He has invited Abdullah to grace the occasion, which he agreed to attend. Vaiko said that Abdullah had attended the previous editions of the Conference also.
However, on or around August 5, 2019 Abdullah was placed under detention in Srinagar and despite his efforts, he was unable to contact him.
Vaiko has written letter to authorities of Jammu and Kashmir to allow Abdullah to travel to Chennai in order to attend the conference in the interest of freedom of speech and in the spirit of encouraging democratic participation.
However, Vaiko did not get any response.
"The actions of the Respondents (government) 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 filed by Advocate G. Ananda Selvam on Vaiko's behalf.
"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."
Vaiko said that the refusal to allow Farooq Abdullah to attend the peaceful and democratic conference is illegal and arbitrary and violative of Articles 21, 22 and 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India.
After the abrogation of Article 370, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the government has detained various leaders including Abdullah.