New Delhi: A plea challenging Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, under which several political leaders and activists have been detained since the reading down of Article 370, was filed on Thursday.
The petition filed by Bhim Singh, Chief Patron of J&K National Panthers Party and Executive Chairman of State Legal Aid Committee, termed the Act as dead and “ultra vires” (beyond the legal power).
Singh, who is also a senior advocate, has sought directions declaring the J&K Public Safety Act, 1978 as invalid law which was enacted by Jammu & Kashmir Legislature in 1978 by virtue of the exclusive jurisdiction of J&K under Article 35-A.
According to the petition, more than 600 political activists have been detained for more than six months under the draconian and dead law which had lost its existence the day President of India abrogated Article 35-A from Chapter-III of the Indian constitution.
The plea has sought directions to release all the detenus who were detained on or before August 5, 2019, when Article 370 was abrogated, and who have completed more than three months in detention without trial in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir
“Direct the Union of India and the respondents to grant appropriate compensation to all the detenus who have completed six or more months in illegal detention in J&K/outside J&K under the detention order of J&K Public Safety Act, 1978, which had lost its existence as valid law,” the plea said.
It has also sought directions to restore the statehood to J&K which was declared/established as a State of Jammu and Kashmir in 1846 by the founding Maharaja Gulab Singh and continued as recognised state till 2019.
“Direct the respondents/Union of India to appoint Delimitation Commission in Jammu & Kashmir and hold fresh Assembly election in 2020 after delimitation of the constituencies in J&K so that confidence of the people in democracy, rule of law and Indian Constitution is not shaken by the enemies of peace and rule of law,” the plea said.