Bhim challenges validity of PSA in Supreme Court

Agencies. Updated: 2/14/2020 10:28:56 AM Front Page

‘Act died with Article 35-A scrap’

JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act under which over 600 political leaders and activists have been detained since the abrogation of Article 370, was challenged in the Supreme Court by J&K National Panthers Party patron Bhim Singh on Thursday.
The petition termed the Act as dead with the abrogation of Article 35- A, and "ultra vires" (beyond the legal power).
Singh, who is also a senior advocate, has sought directions declaring the J&K Public Safety Act, 1978 as invalid law which was enacted by Jammu & Kashmir Legislature in 1978 by virtue of the exclusive jurisdiction of J&K under Article 35-A.
According to the petition, more than 600 political activists have been detained for more than six months under the draconian and dead law which had lost its existence the day President of India abrogated Article 35-A from Chapter-III of the Indian Constitution.
Those booked under PSA include three former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.
The plea has sought directions to release all the detenus who were detained on or before August 5, 2019, when Article 370 was abrogated, and who have completed more than three months in detention without trial in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
"Direct the Union of India and the respondents to grant appropriate compensation to all the detenus who have completed six or more months in illegal detention in J&K/outside J&K under the detention order of J&K Public Safety Act, 1978, which had lost its existence as valid law," the plea said.
The petition comes days after the Jammu and Kashmir booked seven mainstream political leaders under PSA.
It has also sought directions to restore the statehood to J&K which was established as a State of Jammu and Kashmir in 1846 by the founding Maharaja Gulab Singh and continued as recognized state till 2019.
"Direct the respondents/Union of India to appoint Delimitation Commission in Jammu & Kashmir and hold fresh Assembly election in 2020 after delimitation of the constituencies in J&K so that confidence of the people in democracy, rule of law and Indian Constitution is not shaken by the enemies of peace and rule of law," the plea said.

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