Friday, Sep 19, 2003
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By J. Venkatesan
The Attorney-General, Soli J. Sorabjee, who informed this before a Bench comprising Justice Ruma Pal and Justice P.V. Reddi, further said that the Indian Government had extended consular services to five other prisoners and that the Pakistan Government had agreed to verify their antecedents before giving them the travel documents, which would facilitate passing the deportation orders under the Foreigners Act, 1946. In respect of two Pakistani nationals, he said they were still facing trial and could not be deported.
Those who are to be deported are Noor Mohammed, Shokat Ali, Ibrahim, Mohd Ismail, Shahid Kareem, Mohd Nawaz, Nazir Ahmad and Mohd Anwar.
The Bench had treated a letter from two of the prisoners, Noor Mohammed and another, about the plight of the Pakistani nationals languishing in prison for over nine years as a petition. Though they had completed the sentence, they had been detained arbitrarily for no reason.
During the course of the hearing, the court had made it clear that those who had served their sentence could not be permitted to languish in prisons and that the Centre must take steps to deport or expel them.
Thereafter, the Attorney-General wrote to the Government to pass orders deporting the Pakistani nationals and, accordingly, the Government passed the necessary orders.
The Bench appreciated the efforts taken by the Attorney-General in the matter and directed listing of the case after six months.
Meanwhile, another Bench, comprising Justice M.B. Shah and Justice B.N. Agrawal, today heard petitions from another set of prisoners, Bisharat Ali Rajput and 11 other prisoners from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, alleging that they were languishing in Indian jails even after serving their sentences for offences under the Foreigners Act and the Indian Penal Code.
Mr. Sorabjee submitted to the court that the prisoners stood on a different footing as they were detained under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act.
The Bench, therefore, issued notice to the Chief Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Government, and directed that this case also be listed before a Bench headed by Justice Ruma Pal.
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