Farooq Abdullah detained under the Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act

Former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah was detained under the State’s Public Safety Act in the Jammu and Kashmir.

How the law came into being?

The Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act was introduced by Sheikh Abdullah (Farooq Abdullah’s father) in 1978. It was introduced to prevent timber smuggling, and keep the smugglers in prison. It is a preventive detention law which allows the State government to detain a person up to two years without a trial.

The Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act is similar to the National Security Act and was enacted two years before the NSA came into being.

Features of the Act

  • The Public Safety Act allows the State to hold a person without producing them in court whereas, under normal police custody, a person has to be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours of detention.
  • The case must be referred to an Advisory Board within four weeks of passing the detention order. The Advisory Board is required to give its recommendations within eight weeks of the order. If the Board is satisfied that there is cause for preventive detention, the government can hold the person up to two years.
  • The person detained under the act has limited rights. In normal circumstances, a person arrested has a right to legal representation and can challenge the arrest. Whereas a person is arrested under the PSA, they do not have these rights before the Advisory Board unless sufficient grounds are established to prove the detention is illegal.
  • According to Section 13(2) of the Act, the detaining authority can even rescue from informing the detained individual as to the reason for the action, if it decides that it goes against the public interest.

Scores of detainees after the Pulwama terror attack were slapped with this law.

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