HC gives Defence Ministry 2 weeks to approach ICJ

The Gujarat High Court on Thursday directed the Defence Ministry to comply with its order of December 23,2011 to approach the International Court of Justice against Pakistan for not releasing 54 Indian prisoners of 1971 war in breach of the Simla Agreement.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published:April 20, 2012 2:43 am

The Gujarat High Court on Thursday directed the Defence Ministry to comply with its order of December 23,2011 to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Pakistan for not releasing 54 Indian prisoners of 1971 war in breach of the Simla Agreement.

The court ordered that the defence secretary will have to remain personally present before it to explain the non-compliance while posting the matter for further hearing on May 3.

A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala passed the order while acting on a petition moved by some relatives of the Prisoners of War (PoWs) who are stranded in various Pakistani jails.

Petitioners’ lawyer Kishor Paul said,“The counsel of Defence Ministry sought extension of four months. But the demand was rejected by the court,and the ministry has been directed to comply with the HC order in two weeks. In not doing so,the court has added,the Defence Secretary will have to remain present before the court in person.”

In December,acting on a petition by late General Jagjitsingh Aurora,the hero of the 1971 war,and other relatives of PoWs,the High Court had ordered the central government to approach the ICJ against Pakistan for not releasing them in breach of the Simla Agreement.

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