Taking a stern view of the Centre’s laxity in furnishing a status report on the prisoners of war (PoWs) and defence personnel languishing in Pakistan jails, the Supreme Court Tuesday imposed a penalty of Rs 20,000 on the government.
The bench presided over by Justice T S Thakur noted that the court had on November 18 directed the Centre and ministries concerned to collate information and indicate current status of the prisoners, but they still needed more time to file the report. “There is no reason to grant additional time since sufficient time has already been granted to them.
However in the interest of justice, one last opportunity is granted to them for filing the status. We deem it appropriate to impose Rs 20,000 cost to be deposited in SC Advocate on Record Welfare fund,” said the bench.
On Tuesday, advocate Kishan Pal, appearing on behalf of the petitioner Brig Chatranjan Sawant (Rtd) and others, submitted that the government had not acted despite instructions from the court.
The court was hearing a batch of petitions including the one filed by N K Kalia, the father of late Captain Saurabh Kalia, who was captured during the 1999 Kargil War and reportedly tortured in by the Pakistan Army.