Shifting PSA Detainees To Outside Jails Illegal: Bar

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SRINAGAR — Kashmir High Court Bar Association on Friday expressed its serious concern over the shifting of Kashmiri prisoners, detained under Public Safety Act, to different jails outside the State.

In a statement issued here, a spokesman of the lawyers body said that it was more concerning jail authorities are not providing the whereabouts of those detainees to their kith and kin, so that they could go and meet them in the jail, where they have been lodged.

“The Bar Association has reliably learnt that Ghulam Mohammad Khan Sopori, who is more than 75 years of age and is in custody from 2016, was reportedly shifted from Kotebalwal Jail, Jammu, to a jail in Karnal, Haryana but when his family members went to see him in the jail, they were told that he

is not lodged over there.” 

They thereafter wanted to know from the jail authorities as to where he has been lodged, but no information has been given to them about the jail, where he has been shifted as a result of which the entire family is “terribly disturbed”, the spokesman said.

“The Bar Association maintains that shifting of Kashmiri detainees to the jails located outside the State, by making an amendment in Public Safety Act is an extra-territorial piece of legislation, which is legally invalid.”

 The amendment is also contrary to the five Judge Bench Constitutional Judgment of the Supreme Court, besides Prisons Act, Prisoners Act and Jail Manual. 

“The Bar Association has therefore filed a writ petition before the High Court for quashing the amendment in which court has issued notice to the State Govt for filing the reply and the matter is scheduled to come up for consideration on 17.12.2018”. 

The Bar Association, the spokesman said, was hopeful that keeping the legal aspects of the matter in consideration, the amendment would be struck down by the Court as unconstitutional.

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