J&K’s several special laws will remain in force from security point of view

Decision taken due to hostile neighbours, prevailing situation

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Aug 10: Several special laws, which were enacted by the State from time to time keeping in view the security aspect and to check movement of anti-national elements and their agents, will continue to remain in force in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh.
These laws have not been touched by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019 whereby more than 100 Central Laws will get extended to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh.
This has been decided as these special laws will continue to play crucial role in ensuring proper law and order and internal security in both the Union Territories keeping in view hostile behaviour of neighbouring countries—Pakistan and China and presence of terrorists and their agents in the hinterland.
Some of these special laws are Jammu and Kashmir Enemy Agents Ordinance Svt 2005; Jammu and Kashmir Egress and Internal Movement (Control) Ordinance Svt 2005; Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 and Jammu and Kashmir Police Act, Svt 1983.
J&K Enemy Agents Ordinance provides for trial and punishment of enemy and persons committing certain offences with the intent to aid the enemy.
“Whoever is an enemy agent or, with intent to aid the enemy, conspires with any other person to do any act which is designed or likely to give assistance to the enemy or to impede the military or air operations of Indian forces or to endanger life or is guilty of incendiarism shall be punishable with death or rigorous imprisonment for life or with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine”, the Ordinance reads.
“Since Pakistan is still continuing with its nefarious designs and extending all possible support to the terrorists and Over Ground Workers in different parts of Jammu and Kashmir there is requirement of continuation of this Ordinance”, the legal experts said.
Similarly, J&K Egress and Internal Movement (Control) Ordinance has much importance in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh from internal security point of view, the experts said while referring to the provisions of the Ordinance.
“The Government may, by notification in the Government Gazette, order that any person for the time being in the State or any class of such persons, shall not proceed to a destination outside the State or move within the State from one place to another, except under the authority of a written permit granted in such form and manner and by such authority or person as may be specified in the order”, read the Ordinance.
Likewise, Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act is playing a crucial role in the interest of the security of the State and in the maintenance of communal and regional harmony ever since its enactment, the legal experts said.
While pointing towards the provisions of the Act, they said, “this special law is a major tool in the hands of the administration to restrict movement of particular person(s) to a prohibited area and to prevent any activity prejudicial to the maintenance of communal or sectarian or regional harmony”, adding “since there are continuous efforts from across the border to foment regional or communal trouble in this part of the country this law still has relevance”.
Under this Act, any person acting in the manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order can be detained for a period of 12 months. Moreover, two years detention can be ordered in case of the person acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police Act governs the functioning of the State Police and no person, court or officer shall have authority to appoint, supersede or control any police functionary except as authorised under this Act. The Act also defines the duties of the police officers, penalties for neglect of duty etc.