The Jammu and Kashmir High Court. |

By Scroll Staff

The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has said that the term “security of state” under the Public Safety Act is valid grounds to detain a person in the Union territory, Live Law reported on Tuesday.

A bench of Chief Justice N Kotiswar Singh and Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi made the observation on July 3 while setting aside an appeal challenging the preventive detention of a man named Yawar Ahmad Malik under the Act, Bar and Bench reported.

The Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978, is a preventive detention law under which persons can be taken into custody to prevent them from acting against “the security of the state or the maintenance of the public order” in the Union territory.

In its order on July 3, the court dismissed an argument made by the petitioner’s counsel that a person could no longer be held in preventive detention under the Act after Jammu and Kashmir became a Union territory in 2019.

In August 2019, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union territories.

“There is no doubt that the definition of state as contained in Section 3 (58) of General Clauses Act, 1898 includes Union territory,” the court said on July 3, according to Live Law.

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