Jammu & Kashmir

Security of state no longer valid statutory ground for preventive detention: JK HC

Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

Court quashes petitioner’s detention order citing misuse of outdated law and lack of proper justification

Srinagar: The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh has nullified a preventive detention order, deeming it flawed and invalid for citing “security of the State,” a term that is no longer applicable following the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir into a Union Territory.

The court determined that when the petitioner was informed of his detention, he was led to believe it was to prevent actions threatening the security of the former State of Jammu & Kashmir. However, since this state no longer exists, using its security as a basis for detention under the J&K Public Safety Act, 1978, is erroneous.

The court declared the preventive detention of the petitioner to be highly questionable. It pointed out that the District Magistrate of Baramulla (respondent No. 2) made a critical mistake by relying on an outdated rationale. This flawed reasoning was also adopted by the Government of the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir in their approval and confirmation of the detention, without proper scrutiny by the Advisory Board.

Additionally, the court said that none of the FIRs cited against the petitioner were related to the security of the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. It asserted that even if one assumed “security of the State” referred to the security of the Union Territory, this assumption was legally invalid.

The court noted the District Magistrate’s failure to show any thoughtful consideration about whether he had been thoroughly informed on the status of the FIRs.

The inclusion of these FIRs in the detention grounds seemed more aimed at sensationalising the petitioner’s profile rather than providing a solid basis for preventive detention.

Consequently, the court declared the petitioner’s preventive detention illegal and quashed the detention order.

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