Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act

Why in discussion?

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has been detained by the state home department under the Public Safety Act (PSA).

  • It is noteworthy that this act empowers the state administration to keep any person in jail for 2 years without filing any case.

public safety act

  • The Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 is a preventive detention law, under which a person is detained to prevent him from doing any act which may affect the security or public order of the state.
  • Under this act a person can be detained for 2 years.
  • It is more or less similar to the National Security Act, which is used by other state governments for detention.
  • This act is not in the nature of punitive detention.
  • This Act comes into force only by an administrative order passed by the Divisional Commissioner or the District Magistrate.

History of the Act

  • This act was introduced in Jammu and Kashmir in 1978 to prevent timber smuggling, because smuggling of wood was the biggest problem of that time and those arrested under it were easily released after getting minor punishment.
  • It is known that this act was initiated by Farooq Abdullah’s father Sheikh Abdullah.
  • In the 1990s, when extremist movements took hold in the state, the state government used the Public Safety Act extensively to detain rioters.
  • It is to be known that before the year 2011, there was a provision to detain any person above the age of 16 in this Act of Jammu and Kashmir, but in the year 2011, the age limit was increased by modifying the Act and now it is 18 years. Is.
  • The act has been invoked several times in recent years as well, with around 550 people being detained using the PSA in 2016 during protests over the arrest of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani.

this act is very harsh

  • As per the provisions of the Act, any person in the state can be detained or detained without charge or investigation using the PSA. This detention can be up to 2 years.
  • PSA can also be imposed on a person who is already in police custody or who has got bail from the court. Even this act can be applied to a person who has been acquitted by the court.
  • The important fact is that unlike normal police custody, a person detained under the PSA is not required to be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours of the detention.
  • Also, the detained person does not have the right to apply for bail before the court and he cannot take the help of any lawyer in this regard.
  • This administrative detention order can only be challenged by the relatives of the detained person through Habeas Corpus Petition.
  • The High Court and the Supreme Court have the power to hear such petitions and pass final orders to terminate the PSA, however, if the High Court and the Supreme Court dismiss the petition, that person has There is no other way left in me.
  • In this act, the passing of such an order by the Divisional Commissioner or District Magistrate is considered an act ‘done in good faith’, so no inquiry can be made against the person who issued the order. Is.
  • It is noteworthy that last year the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir had amended this Act, according to which a person detained under this Act can now be kept outside the state as well.

After applying PSA

  • Normally when a person is arrested under this Act, the DM of the district informs him in writing of the reasons for the detention within 5 days of the arrest. In some special circumstances this work may take up to 10 days.
  • It is necessary for the DM to give such information to the detained person, so that that person can also know why he has been arrested and he can prepare further strategy in this context. However, if the DM feels that it would be against the public interest, he also has the right not to disclose the facts on the basis of which the arrest or detention has been ordered.
  • DM has to present the order of arrest or detention before the advisory board, this board consists of 3 members including 1 chairman and its chairman can be a former judge of high court only. DM also represents that person before the board and if the person wants, he can also put his point before the board.
  • The advisory board submits its report to the state within 8 weeks and on the basis of the report, the state government decides whether the detention or arrest is in the public interest.


This act was initiated by the state government to tackle timber smuggling and extremism, but at present it is being used extensively against human rights activists, journalists and political opponents. Due to the misuse of this act designed to solve the problem, now it has become a problem in itself. Therefore, it is necessary that this act should be amended as soon as possible to establish it again to be used as a solution against terrorism and extremism.

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