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The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday dismissed a petition challenging the detention of senior advocate and Kashmir Bar Association’s ailing president Mian Abdul Qayoom under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).

A person can be put in jail without trial from three months to maximum of two years under PSA.

Qayoom was detained on August 5 last year–the day the Centre abrogated Article 370. His detention under PSA which was supposed to end on Friday has already been extended by another three months. He is currently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. His detention has received strong condemnation from the bar association.

Justice Tashi Rabstan, who dismissed the petition, held that there were sufficient materials to show the subjective satisfaction of the authorities with regard to the need to detain Qayoom, and added that that the same was carried out following the due procedure as mandated under J&K Public Safety Act, 1978.

The detention was challenged on the ground that the order was passed by the District Magistrate without proper application of mind. It was also argued that the grounds of detention were vague, indefinite and so ambiguous that there were no material particulars or grounds necessitating the order.

However, the court observed that the objective of the preventive detention is not to punish a person but to intercept and prevent him from doing any wrongful act.
The court, however, also observed the essential concept of preventive detention is that “the detention of the person is not to punish him for what he has done but to intercept and prevent him from doing it.”

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