SC hears Pakistani Prisoners in Indian jails petition filed by NPP Chief Bhim Singh
New Delhi: November 14, 2017. (PCP) Supreme Court of India, the Apex Court of Union of India today directed Union of India to file Status Report on the detention of Pakistani-POK & foreign prisoners detained in the Indian jails. The Supreme Court of India issued this notice on a writ petition filed by Prof.Bhim Singh in-person against the illegal, unconstitutional and improper detention/trials of foreign prisoners by the Govt. of J&K for the past over 15 years who have been languishing in the Indian prisons including J&K, many of them have completed the respective sentences and many of them have been kept in detention by the Govt. of J&K for years under the detention law in J&K called ‘Public Safety Act’ without trial. This Public Safety Act (PSA) was introduced by the Govt. of Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah in 1981 whereas Prof.Bhim Singh, the then Congress MLA was the first person to be detained for the reasons that Prof.Bhim Singh continued his battle for the civil liberties and political freedom in spite of the fact that he was Member, Legislative Assembly from the Congress party.
The Supreme Court has been hearing writ petition which was filed by Prof.Bhim Singh in-person against the illegal detention of more than 1000 prisoners from Pakistan and POK. Nearly 700 of them were released by the intervention of the Supreme Court of India which had issued direction to the Union of India and Govt. of J&K to release all those prisoners from Pakistan, POK or other countries whose had exhausted their respective sentences or who have been detained in violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India which commands that no person (person) shall be deprived of his life or liberty without procedure established by law. Article 21 slightly defers from the 14th Amendment in the Constitution of the United States of America which commands that no person shall be deprived of his life or liberty without due process of law. Any how right to liberty under this Article, Prof.Bhim Singh has been arguing does extend to any person irrespective of his nationality. The Supreme Court of India has been hearing Prof.Bhim Singh’s petition and the petitions filed by J&K National Panthers Party or State Legal Aid Committee, J&K against the illegal detention of the Indian nationals or foreigners.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India by its order dated 03.05.2017 directed, “….Union of India had filed Status Report which is in the form of additional affidavit dated 19th April, 2016. Let this report be updated and a latest report in this behalf be filed before the next date of hearing. State of Jammu and Kashmir may also file a report to the same effect….”
Prof.Bhim Singh submitted before the Division Bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Hon’ble Mr. Justice A.K. Sikri & Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan that State of J&K had filed reply which is incomplete as no details of the proceedings of the prisoners of the Pakistani/POK has been given nor there is any procedure followed by the Union of India. He said that 15 Pakistanis including some POK residents have been detained under Public Safety Act (Detention Law) in total violation of Article 21 of Constitution of India. He submitted before the Supreme Court that most of them have been detained illegally/unconstitutionally and in violation of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed to the foreigners under Article 21 of Indian Constitution as they have been kept in detention, some of them for years, after they had completed their respective detention period.
Sr. Advocate Prof.Bhim Singh also made strong protest that there are 23 prisoners (from Pakistan/POK) who have not been deported in spite of the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. Similarly there are three detenus who have been recommended for deportation but still in prison. There are some 15 prisoners who are undergoing sentences for years without any appeal in the superior courts. The Govt. also informed the Supreme Court that there were 43 prisoners of Pakistan and POK who are facing trials and investigation. Prof.Bhim Singh submitted before the Supreme Court to give final chance to the Govt. of J&K as well as to the Union of India to file their replies so that the matter may be heard by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. Prof.Bhim Singh also prayed the Supreme Court of India to give final opportunity to the Union of India to file its reply.
Prof.Bhim Singh also said that there were some persons from Nigeria (Hardey Temmy Wesly) & Bangladesh (Naeem) whose name were recommended for deportation yet they are still in the Indian jails in defiance of the direction of the Supreme Court.
Prof.Bhim Singh expressed regrets that the Govt. of J&K as well as Union of India have been intentionally and deliberately violating the rule of law that Constitution of India has guaranteed in its Chapter-III on Fundamental Rights and hoped that the respective states (within Union of India) as well as Union of India shall follow the rule of law and direct the Union of India and Govt. of J&K to deport all those foreign prisoners who have been completed more than two years in the Indian jails as under trial.
Those advocates who assisted Prof.Bhim Singh included Mr. B.S. Billowria, Mr. Bheem Pratap Singh, Mr. S.K. Bandopadhyay an