The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed concerns over delay in receiving response from the Pakistan High Commission for ascertaining the nationality of several persons from that country who have undergone their jail term here but are yet to be repatriated for want of confirmation regarding their citizenship.
On being informed that nationality of 25 such persons was still to be confirmed,a Bench,led by Justice R M Lodha,said: Our difficulty is that we cannot issue an order to the Pakistan High Commission. We have been requesting them repeatedly but if they dont do it,what do we do? Similarly,we understand what can the Centre do unless the nationality of these inmates are confirmed. They cannot be simply dumped anywhere.
The courts remarks came after Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra said that out of 29 persons,four had been sent back to Pakistan while 25 awaited repatriation since the High Commission had not confirmed whether they were Pakistani nationals or not.
The court said that in those cases where the nationality of prisoners have been established,the authorities shall take necessary steps for their repatriation within three weeks from the date of receipt of communication confirming their nationality.
Senior advocate Bhim Singh,the petitioner in the case,brought to the courts notice the case of Abdul Shareef,who,he claimed,has been languishing in Indian jails for the past 15 years even after serving his sentence. The Bench asked the Centre to file an affidavit,explaining the latest position of Iranian Abdul Shareef after the ASG told the court that even though the Centre had taken up his case with the Iranian embassy 10 months ago,there was no response from the latter.