New Delhi, May 16
The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday transferred to the High Court (HC) of J&K and Ladakh a petition alleging that over 20 persons detained under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act had been shifted out of prisons in the newly created Union Territory to jails in states such as Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
A Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said since the HC was already seized of petitions challenging the 2018 amendments made to the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978, it would be appropriate if the present petition was heard there only.
On behalf of the J&K administration, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that the family members were being provided the facility of meeting the detenues in jails in other states and it had been an accepted practice.
While transferring the plea filed by Raja Begum and other relatives of detenues to the HC, the Bench asked the Chief Justice of the HC to hear the petition expeditiously and gave liberty to senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the petitioners, to mention it there.
The SC had on March 13 asked the Centre and the UT administration to respond to the petition alleging shifting of the detenues. “These are the issues of genuine national security,” Mehta had said.
The petitioners alleged that the detainees had been shifted out of the jails in Jammu and Kashmir, depriving their family members of opportunities to meet them.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Raja Begum and three others. Begum’s son Arif Ahmad Sheikh, a resident of Parimpora in Srinagar, was shifted to the Central Jail, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. He was detained on April 7 last year.
20 moved to other states
- Petitioner says 20 persons detained under the Public Safety Act have been shifted to jails in other states.
- The apex court says since the HC is seized of pleas challenging the 2018 PSA amendments, the case should be heard there only.
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