JKLF chief Yasin Malik booked under Public Safety Act

  1. Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief and Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) spokesman have been booked under Jammu and Kashmir’s Public Safety Act.
  2. The Public Safety Act was enacted in 1978 to take action against the timber smugglers. It provides for administrative detention for people against whom there may be no recognised criminal offence. Administrative detention is the detention of a person by State without trial. It is preventive detention i.e.  imprisonment of a person with the aim of preventing them from committing further offenses or for maintaining public order.
  3. Originally, the Act allowed for detention for a maximum of two years without trial in the case of persons acting in any manner which is detrimental to the security of the state.  It further allowed for administrative detention of up to one year for disturbing public order. Anyone above the age of 16 could be detained.
  4. However, the Act was amended in 2011. Under the amendments, the detention period of suspects was reduced from one year to three months in cases of disturbing public order. It also reduced the detention period from two years to six months in cases where security of state is concerned. The minimum age for detention was also raised to 18 years from 16 years.
  5. The Public Safety Act has been highly criticised by rights activists on the grounds that it is against human rights and is being used as a tool to curb peaceful political dissent.