The Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration have been asked by the Supreme Court to respond to a plea seeking that former chief minister Farooq Abdullah, allegedly under detention following the scrapping of the state's special status, be produced before the court.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer issued notice to the Centre and the state, and fixed Rajya Sabha MP and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Vaiko's plea for hearing on September 30.
Meanwhile, sources said that Abdullah has now been detained under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA), which enables authorities to detain any individual for two years without trial.
Vaiko, who said he has been a close friend of Abdullah for the past four decades, has contended that constitutional rights conferred on the National Conference leader had been deprived of on account of 'illegal detention without any authority of law'.
In his plea, Vaiko had 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.
"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 has 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 has said he had spoken to Abdullah over phone on August 4 and had invited him 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.
Tarigami may go back home
The Supreme Court also allowed Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Mohd Yusuf Tarigami to go back to his home in Jammu and Kashmir.
The bench said the former MLA does not need any permission to go home if doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences allow him.
The former MLA alleged that his vehicle has been taken away and he will be confined to his home.
The ailing leader was on September 9 shifted to AIIMS following the apex court order.
The top court had said Tarigami should be shifted 'at the earliest' to 'the AIIMS, Delhi, from Srinagar, where he was under house arrest'.
He was put under house arrest on August 5 after the Centre abrogated special status to Jammu and Kashmir under the Constitution.
The top court had earlier allowed CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury to visit Jammu and Kashmir to meet his ailing party colleague and file an affidavit on his health condition.
Besides mentioning Tarigami's health condition in the affidavit, Yechury had also referred to other issues that have arisen in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370.
The court had earlier made it clear that Yechury was allowed to visit Jammu and Kashmir to meet his party colleague only as attention had been drawn to an interim application seeking the court's orders to bring Tarigami to AIIMS.