Can detention be forever? Supreme Court raps Centre over ex-J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti’s detention under PSA

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that detention cannot be forever and asked the Centre to clear whether former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti`s detention under the under Public Safety Act (PSA) has extended beyond a year.

The remarks were made by a bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul during the hearing of Iltija Mufti`s plea challenging her mother`s and People`s Democratic Party (PDP) leader`s detention order under PSA and its subsequent extensions.

Justice Kaul queried Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, “How long Mufti has been in detention and what were the grounds?” The bench specifically wanted to know could the detention be extended beyond one year. Mehta, justifying the detention, said it has been done on “public order grounds”.

Justice Kaul said the court wanted to know for how long such detention can be extended. “Can it be prolonged for so long?” Mehta urged the court not to record any observations. Justice Kaul replied these observations were questions of the court.

Mehta said, “I will address my lords on questions on facts and law.” The Solicitor General cited the statements made by Mufti as having an impact on public order.

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