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Preventive detention: Ex-bureaucrats flag amendment that has not been notified for 43 years

A group of 100 former civil servants on Saturday wrote to Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, highlighting that the Centre has not yet issued a notification to enforce the amendment to Article 22(4) of the Constitution of India, which deals with protection against detentions.

The Parliament had passed the amendment in 1978.

Before the amendment to the Article, the authorities were allowed to detain a person for a maximum of three months, unless an advisory board, before the expiration of the detention period, felt that there was “sufficient cause” for detention.

The advisory board consisted of “persons who are, or have been, or are qualified to be appointed as, judges of a High Court”.

Section 3 of the Constitution (44th Amendment) Act, 1978, restricted the time period of preventive detention to two months. It also said that the Advisory Board is to be led by a sitting High Court judge, with at least two serving or former judges of any High Court as members.

In their letter, the former bureaucrats said that “unconscionable delay of 43 years” to notify the amendment has led to “a brazen abuse of preventive detention laws in gross violation of human rights”.

They pointed out that at present, any advocate who has been practicing for…

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