J&K cabinet approves amendments in Public Safety Act

Published - October 29, 2011 02:58 pm IST - Srinagar

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said the State cabinet has approved amendments in the Public Safety Act to correct the aspects related to juveniles which have evoked harsh criticism.

“An attempt is being made to correct some of the aspects of the (Public Safety) Act that have come in for harsh criticism especially linked to juveniles,” Mr. Omar said on micro-blogging site Twitter.

The Chief Minister also expressed displeasure that the important issue got lost in the din over revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

“Yesterday’s cabinet meeting had an important decision to amend the Public Safety Act but seems to have gotten lost in the AFSPA din,” he said.

According to the new amendments, the detention period of suspects has been reduced from one year to three months in cases of disturbing public order. Those arrested for security reasons can be detained up to a maximum period of six months against the present provision of two years without trial.

Under the new changes, a minor cannot be detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA).

These amendments will be sent to Raj Bhawan for promulgation of The Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (Amendment) Ordinance 2011.

The changes in the PSA come a year after international human rights watchdog Amnesty International released a report on detentions in Jammu and Kashmir under the Act, terming it as “lawless law.”

The Amnesty had called for repealing of PSA, including abolition of the system of administrative detentions in the State as it reportedly facilitated the practice of torture.

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