Journal article Open Access

Politics of Preventive Detention: A Case Study of Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978

Mohmad Aabid Bhat

Armed conflict that involve people’s movement for Right to Self-Determination or regime change incite State’s repressive apparatus - killing, maiming, torturing, enforced disappearances, arrests, harsh laws and legislations, etc. - to maintain its sovereignty. One of the widely utilized tools has been to put people under preventive detentions. Preventive detention adds a new dimension to ‘traditional penology’ which was more of a rehabilitating and corrective measure. In global south perspective, preventive detention has been used against the political opponents, activists, human rights defenders and common people who participate or align themselves with a group standing against the State. In Kashmir preventive detention law- Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA) - has been used rampantly to limit role and count of resistant voices. While utilizing the framework of “taxonomy of preventive detention” (Elias, 2009), this paper tries to locate PSA within the International Humanitarian Norms to see whether it stands in congruence with norms of justice or in contravention. This study advocates following “model code of preventive detention” for fairer implementation of the Act. This study utilizes information procured from secondary sources, including published reports, newspapers, dossiers, etc. and uses descriptive research design.

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