MHA revokes legal protection granted over 40 yrs back
*CS-led panel to recommend names for Advisory Board
JAMMU, Apr 2: All those who have been booked under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act can now be easily lodged in any jail in any part of the country as the legal protection, which was given over 40 years back, has been revoked by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs by carrying out amendments in the law.
Since the enactment of the Public Safety Act in 1978 those booked under the law were enjoying the legal protection of being lodged in the prisons of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir only.
This was because of proviso in Section 10 of the Act, which deals with power to regulate place and conditions of detention. “Any person in respect of whom a detention order has been made shall be liable to be detained in such place and under such conditions including conditions as to the maintenance of discipline and punishment for breaches of discipline as the Government may, by general or special order, specify and to be removed from one place of detention to another place of detention by order of the Government”, read Section 10.
However, a proviso was appended to Section 10, which read: “Provided that the detenues who are permanent residents of the State shall not be lodged in the jails outside Jammu and Kashmir”.
Now, Union Ministry of Home Affairs vide Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020 dated March 31, 2020 issued in exercise of powers conferred by Section 96 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019 has omitted the proviso of Section 10 of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978.
With this, all those who have been booked under PSA can be easily lodged in any jail in any part of the country. “There is no more legal protection which can be made ground before the courts for challenging lodging of PSA detainees in the jails outside Jammu and Kashmir”, legal experts said.
Moreover, the Ministry of Home Affairs has carried out certain amendments in Section 14 of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act.
As per Sub-Section 3 of Section 14 of the Act, the Chairman and other Members of the Advisory Board shall be appointed by the Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court.
However, with the amendments carried out by MHA, the Chairman and other Members of the Advisory Board will now be appointed by the Government on the recommendations of Search-cum-Selection Committee comprising of Chief Secretary (Chairman) and Administr-ative Secretaries of Home and Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Departments (Members).
In the amendment, it has also been mentioned that no sitting judge of the High Court or the sitting District and Sessions Judge shall be appointed as Chairman or Member of the Board except in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir.
As per the J&K Public Safety Act, in every case where detention order has been made, the Government shall within four weeks place before the Advisory Board the grounds on which the order has been made and the representation if any made by the person affected by the order.
The Advisory Board after considering the material placed before it and after calling further information from the concerned authority will specify in its report whether or not there is sufficient cause for the detention of the person concerned under PSA.
As per the Act, the decision of the Advisory Board is required to be implemented by the Government.
According to the MHA order, Code of Criminal Procedure Samvat 1989 and Ranbir Panel Code Samvat 1989 have been substituted by Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 and Indian Penal Code.