What is Public Safety Act (PSA) under which former J&K chief ministers Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti are booked

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Feb 10, 2020, 10.47 PM(IST)

File photo of the PDP's Mehbooba Mufti and the NC's Omar Abdullah. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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Abdullah and Mufti were booked under the PSA last week just hours before their six-month-long "preventive detention" was to come to an end. 

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) last week on February 6.

Abdullah's sister Sara Abdullah Pilot has challenged his detention under Public Safety Act (PSA) in the supreme court saying her brother's detention was a grave violation of his constitutional rights, including freedom of speech.

So what exactly is the PSA?

The administrative detention law allows an individual to be detained for up to two years without any charge, trial or a warrant. 

The PSA has two sections -- 'public order' and 'threat to the security of the state'. The former allows detention without trial for six months and the latter for two years.

The Act applies to the whole of Jammu and Kashmir and has provisions in special cases to let the detainee be informed about the reason for the custody. In special cases, the detainee may also get the chance to make a case against their detention before the government. 

Also read: Omar Abdullah's sister Sara Abdullah Pilot challenges his detention under PSA in Supreme Court 

Under the PSA, the detaining authority may refrain from making public or revealing any fact with respect to the detention that may stand against the public interest. 

The Divisional Commissioner or the District Magistrate usually issue out the detention order under the PSA. 

Abdullah and Mufti were booked under the PSA last week just hours before their six-month-long "preventive detention" was to come to an end. 

Omar, who has been junior foreign minister and commerce minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led Cabinet in 2000, was served with a three-page dossier in which he was alleged to have made statements in the past which were "subversive" in nature.

Omar's father, Farooq Abdullah, was booked under the PSA in September last year which was reviewed again in December for three months.

Similarly, the magistrate and a police officer visited Mehbooba Mufti at the government accommodation, which had been converted into a subsidiary jail, and was handed over the dossier in which her statements from 2010 were cited as reasons for keeping her in detention.