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Use preventive detention laws in extraordinary situations: HC

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has observed that preventive detention laws like Public Safety Act (PSA) have to be used very rarely and only to deal with extraordinary situations.



Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High
Court has observed that preventive detention laws like Public
Safety Act (PSA) have to be used very rarely and only to deal
with extraordinary situations.

The 20-page judgement was delivered by Justice Hasnain
Masoodi while allowing a habeas corpus petition which
challenged the second consecutive detention of Hizbul
Mujhideen founder Mohammad Ahsan Dar under PSA.

The court equated preventive detention law with an
unconventional weapon in army`s arsenal and observed that such
law should be used very rarely to meet an extraordinary
situation.

"Again preventive detention is not a solution in
itself. It is an extraordinary response to an extraordinary
situation. It is a short term measure and a person cannot be
put under preventive detention endlessly or for a prolonged
period of time," he said.

It is precisely for this reason that the legislature
has fixed a cap on the maximum period a person can be placed
under preventive detention, Justice Masoodi said his order
delivered earlier this month.

While quashing the detention order passed against Dar,
the judge observed that the district magistrate, Bandipora,
while ordering detention of the detenue for a period of one
year has not only closed doors for the detenue to make a
representation against his detention but also violated mandate
of law.

"In terms of J and K Public Safety Act, the maximum
period of preventive detention - where apprehended activities
are prejudicial to the security of the state - is two years
and in all other cases such maximum term is one year.
Notwithstanding the permissible time limits of preventive
detention, it has to go through the screening stages
contemplated by section 8 (4) and section 17 J and K PSA".

Observing that the successive detention orders are
permissible only on fresh facts and material that arise after
the expiry of previous detention order, the judge said, "In
the event it becomes inevitable for the law enforcing agency
to invoke preventive detention law, the constitutional and
statutory safeguards are to be observed in letter and spirit
without any failure".

The court said the failure of the detaining authority
to supply the material relied at the time of making the
detention order, renders the detention illegal and
unsustainable.

Dar was arrested by police on January 14, 2009 and
booked under PSA. The order was quashed on November 11,2009
but Dar was not released and PSA was invoked for the second
time against him.

-PTI

From Zee News

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