Alam release: Centre may rope in NIA

Updated - November 17, 2021 01:02 am IST

Published - March 10, 2015 02:57 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Taken aback by the Jammu and Kashmir government’s decision to release separatist leader Masarat Alam from detention, the Union Home Ministry is exploring the possibility of transferring some cases against him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to the National Investigation Agency, which may lead to his re-arrest.

The NIA Act empowers the MHA to suo motu direct the agency to investigate any offence under its jurisdiction, without seeking consent from the State government. Of the 27 cases against Mr. Alam, it is learnt that UAPA provisions have been invoked in eight cases that are pending investigation. The MHA may issue instructions to the NIA to take over some of the cases and the agency could, as part of the investigations, arrest Mr. Alam.The Ministry has also sought clarifications on a report from the State government about the circumstances under which the separatist leader was released from detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA).

The MHA has asked for the details and status of the cases pending against Mr. Alam. Citing a High Court order, the State government in its first report said Mr. Alam’s detention could be extended only if fresh cases were filed against him, as he had already spent the maximum two years in detention. Under Section 8 of the PSA, the authorities have the power to detain a person if they are satisfied that he may indulge in acts prejudicial to the security or public order in the State.

Section 18 of the Act provides that a person found indulging in acts threatening the security of the State can be detained for two years. However, Section 19 states that a detention order may, at any time, be revoked or modified by the government.“

Mr. Alam was detained eight times under the PSA since February 2010. Even when he has been released, the moot question is whether he is still a threat to peace in the State and, if so, whether he can be detained again on the basis of the already available evidence against him,” said an MHA official.

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