Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Tuesday rejected demands to revoke the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA), saying there was no need to do so.
"There is no proposal or need for revocation of Jammu and Kashmir PSA, 1978, which has been amended last year to ensure that no citizen under the age of 18 years is detained under the law," Chief Minister Omar Abdullah informed the State Assembly.
"As per the amendment, clause(f) has been inserted after clause(e) in sub-section 3 of section 8 which provides that no citizen of India who has not attained the age of 18 years can be detained under clause(a) and (a-i) of section 8 of the Act," he said in a written reply.
Omar, who holds the Home portfolio, also said, "No person under 18 years of age is under detention under PSA."
Social, political and human rights groups besides separatists have been voicing concern over the alleged misuse of the law, which provides for detention of an individual for six months without trial and demanding its revocation.
Replying to a question by CPI(M) member M Y Tarigami, Omar said PSA has been existing in the state prior to eruption of militancy and the Act covers public order and smuggling of timber besides activities prejudicial to the security of the state.
"The Act has sufficient inbuilt safeguards including reference to advisory board set up under the Act to confirm or recommend revocation of the detention order leaving no scope for its misuse or arbitrary application by any authority," he said.
He said 1,257 people have been arrested under the Act since 2009 till July this year. While courts have quashed PSA detention of 945 persons, 66 of them have been rearrested.
"There is no concept or policy of `revolving door detention` under the PSA. However, some people are redetained due to their deep involvement in terrorist, subversive or disruptive activities or other heinous crimes in the interest of security of the state and maintenance of public order," the Chief Minister said.