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The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has quashed the detention of an alleged stone-pelter under the Public Safety Act (PSA), observing that preventive detention cannot be used as an instrument to keep a person in perpetual custody without trial. Justice Tashi Rabstan yesterday quashed the detention of Ishfaq Ahmad, who was booked under the PSA by the Baramulla district magistrate for allegedly being involved in stone- pelting incidents. The high court observed that the offences alleged to have been committed by the detenue were such as to attract punishment under the prevailing laws, but that had to be done under the said prevalent laws and taking recourse to preventive detention laws was not warranted. "Preventive detention involves detaining a person without trial in order to prevent him from committing certain types of offences. "But such detention cannot be made a substitute for the ordinary law and absolve the investigating authorities of their normal functions of investigating crimes which the detenue may have committed," Justice Rabstan observed. After all, preventive detention cannot be used as an instrument to keep a person in perpetual custody without trial," he said. Meanwhile, different benches of the high court also quashed the PSA detentions of nine other accused persons on Wednesday.
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