In A First, J&K Invokes Central Law To Declare Subsidiary Jails

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Home department notified two prisons for lodging political detainees under Prisoners Act-1900

Nasir Azam

Srinagar: After re-organisation of Jammu & Kashmir, the authorities in Union Territory of J&K are invoking Central Prisoners Act to declare subsidiary jails.

Official documents in possession of wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) reveal that Home department of J&K UT established two subsidiary jails- one for lodging ex- Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and another for more than 30 politicians including Peoples Conference Chief Sajad Gani Lone and bureaucrat-tuned –politicain Shah Faesal – under the Prisoners Act- 1900.

The Prisoners Act-1900 was among the 109 central laws extended to the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, which came into existence on October 31. Before extension of the Central law, the then Jammu and Kashmir government would declare subsidiary jails under its own law- the Jammu and Kashmir Prisoners Act, Svt 1977.

According to documents, the Home department issued two statutory orders on November 14 for declaring “House Number 6 at Transport lane Srinagar” and “Block A of MLA hostel along with its premises” as subsidiary jails.

“ In exercise of the powers conferred by clause(b) of Section 2 of the Prisoners Act 1900( Act No. 3 of 1900) and in suppression of notification SRO-494 dated 4th August , 2019, the Lieutenant Governor hereby declare block A of MLA Hostel Srinagar along with its premises as subsidiary jail,” reads the notification issued by the Home department.

As per KNO, another notification declaring House number 6 near deputy Chief Minister’s official residence has also been issued under the Central law. “In exercise of powers conferred by clause(b) of Section 2 of the Prisoners Act 1900, the Government hereby declare House no. 6 at Transport lane, Srinagar as subsidiary jail,” reads the notification.

Post scrapping of the Article 370, the government detained all major mainstream leaders including three former Chief Ministers, ex-ministers, former legislators and other political functionaries. While Farooq Abdullah has been detained under the Public Safety Act, the remaining leaders have been detained under the Criminal Procedure Code.

The Government of India has come under criticism from different quarters for detention of Kashmir’s democratically elected leaders. Global powers like United States of America have urged the Government of India to end political detentions in Kashmir. (KNO)

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