National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, in detention since August last year, is set to walk out of home detention on Monday. The NC leader has been in detention since August 5 last year, when the Centre revoked the Jammu and Kashmir's special status and divided the state into two union territories. After he completed six months in custody, the state administration ordered Omar's continued detention in February under the Public Safety Act (PSA) that empowers authorities to hold any person for two more years. Terming the February 5 order under the PSA 'unconstitutional', Sara Pilot, Omar's sister, had filed a Habeas Corpus petition.
On August 5, the Centre nullified Article 370, divided the state into two Union Territories and imposed restrictions in the Kashmir valley. He was initially detained under Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure that empowers an executive magistrate to order a person to execute bonds 'for keeping the peace'. Just before his detention was to expire in February 2020, the government invoked the Public Safety Act to hold him. This law empowers authorities to hold any person for two more years. Omar Abdullah's sister, Sara Abdullah Pilot, had approached the Supreme Court soon after, arguing that his detention was 'unconstitutional'. A two-judge bench of the top court, which had asked the government in February to explain Omar Abdullah's detention, last week cautioned the government that it would take up the petition on merits on the next date of hearing if the state did not release him.