A Division Bench of the Supreme Court of India comprising of JJ. A.K.Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan today ordered that the petition filed by Prof.Bhim Singh, Executive Chairman of State Legal Aid Committee and a Sr. Advocate in 2005 seeking release/deportation of all foreign prisoners locked up in different Indian jails before 2005, a statement issued said.
It adds, Prof.Bhim Singh filed a writ petition in support of several Panthers Party petitions filed in the Supreme Court before 2005 seeking intervention of the Supreme Court of India for the release and deportation of all foreign prisoners namely from Pakistan, POK, Afghanistan and other foreign countries who had been detained by the Government of J&K and dispatched to other States in the country for their detentions.
“Prof.Bhim Singh informed the court that there were about 1000 prisoners in the Indian jails in 2005 when this writ petition was filed by him in-person because of security reasons of the petitioners. He informed the Supreme Court that nearly 700 prisoners mostly from Pakistan and POK were released and deported under the direction and orders of this Hon’ble Court. He informed the court that there are about 250 prisoners mostly from Pakistan who have been lodged different Indian jails”, statement reads.
According to the stamen, he further submitted that the Hon’ble Supreme Court had directed the Union of India as well as the State Govts where these foreign prisoners have been detained to complete the trial within a period not exceeding one year. Prof.Bhim Singh said that this order was made in 2008 by this Hon’ble Court. He submitted before the court that Article 21 of the Constitution of India is the foremost weapon to ensure protection to the persons (irrespective of their nationalities) as Article 21 is the mandatory provision that no person (irrespective of his nationality) can be deprived of his life or liberty without the procedure established by law.
He said that Union of India has not abided by the dictates of Article 21 and there are several Pakistani prisoners who have been in Indian jails after the trials are over and many of them have exhausted the maximum period in the jails beyond the limit of their respective sentences in jails. He said there are more than 50 prisoners who are languishing in Amritsar jail. They are medically declared deaf and dumb and had no cases pending against them when they were detained some over 10 years back. Prof.Bhim Singh submitted before the court that there is one gentleman e.g. Abdul Sharief from Pakistan who has been detained for more than 20 years in a Amritsar jail without any charge against him. Similarly, there are other people.
Prof.Bhim Singh urged the court to hear this matter finally so that the command of Article 21, which is a master command, in the Chapter of the Indian Constitution which guarantees fundamental rights even to the foreigner who cannot be deprived of life or liberty without a procedure established by law. Prof.Bhim Singh informed the court that the command of Article 21 cannot be subjected to any extra constitutional methodology.
Prof.Bhim Singh rebutted the arguments of Mr. Kumar, Solicitor General of India when he tried to divert the attention of the court from legal philosophy to a political slogan. Prof.Bhim Singh said that Article 21 in the Constitution of India is soul of democracy which cannot be negotiated or comprised by any authority of law nor even by the Parliament.
“After hearing Prof.Bhim Singh and Solicitor General, the Hon’ble Bench fixed Wednesday for the final hearing of the petition filed by Prof.Bhim Singh against the illegal, unconstitutional and malafide detention of Pakistan nationals and others beyond 10 years in the Indian jails. Prof.Bhim Singh said that law on liberty articulated in Article 21 cannot be compromised and that is the philosophy of basic and original philosophy of the Indian civilization and culture which have given birth to the Indian Constitution”, it said. (PTK)