Even as his wife has filed a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court, the Jammu and Kashmir Administration has maintained that senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz is neither detained nor put under house arrest after abrogation of Article 370.
In a complete denial of the version put forth by Soz's wife Mumtazunnisa in the top court, the J&K Home Department has said the former union minister was never under any kind of restraint, and that he was always free to move.
“There is no restriction on movement of Prof Saifuddin Soz to any place, subject to security clearance which is contingent upon law and order and security situation of that area… Prof Soz has never been placed under any detention, as alleged," the affidavit by Special Secretary, Home has stated in the court.
It added no question arises of giving a copy of the detention order or reasons to Soz and his family when "no such order has ever been passed" by any authority in J&K.
The affidavit said Soz is a categorised protectee, who has been provided with round the clock security guards and personal security officers, who escort him whenever he goes and follow the security protocol.
It denied that the Station House Officer of Budgam visited Soz's residence to instruct security guards that the octogenarian has been put under house arrest.
There was general restriction on movement of people on August 5, 2019, in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 but Soz was never detained or his movements were restricted by passing of any order, the affidavit stated.
Dubbing the contentions by his wife in the court as "false, frivolous and baseless", the Home Department pointed out Soz travelled outside J&K at least on two occasions by air in October and December 2019, besides his travelling to local areas.
A bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, will examine this affidavit on Wednesday as it takes up the plea by Mumtazunnisa to 'release' her husband from 'illegal detention'. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appears for the wife of the Congress leader.