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5) The arbitrary and indiscriminate use of the Public Safety Act, 1978 to stifle political dissent in the Kashmir Valley shows a blatant disregard for the Constitution and the right to personal liberty. Critically comment.(250 words)

TOPIC: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

5) The arbitrary and indiscriminate use of the Public Safety Act, 1978 to stifle political dissent in the Kashmir Valley shows a blatant disregard for the Constitution and the right to personal liberty. Critically comment.(250 words)

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Why this question

Along with AFSPA, PSA has been criticized for its human right violations in Kashmir. In recent years the act has been alleged to be misused more frequently than AFSPA. The question is indirectly related to GS 3 syllabus under the following heading-

Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Key demand of the question

the question wants us to bring out the need for PSA and how it affects the rights of the individual.

Directive word

Critically comment- we have to see both the sides of the issue here- need for PSA and how it undermines personal liberty and  other rights provided by the constitution.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– mention the nature, history of PSA. e.g its purpose of legislation, year and territorial limits involved

Body

  1. Discuss in points, need for PSA.

e.g law and order maintenance, prevention and handling of terrorism, need in case of emergency e.g during undeclared strikes and protests etc.

  1.  Discuss in points the cons of PSA, especially with respect to constitutional rights. e.g

Acting in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order has been defined in extremely broad terms, minors also booked under PSA, vague charges cited, non-application of mind on part of the executive authority etc.

Conclusion– Present a concise conclusion based on the above discussion and mentioning SC directives in this regard and suggest the need to apply them in letter and spirit.