The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Ministry of External Affairs directing it to respond to a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging that two Punjab residents are languishing in a Pakistani jail even after completing their sentences. Notices were also issued to the Punjab government and both respondents have been directed to provide replies within a month.
According to the petitioners Lawyers for Human Rights International (LFHRI) Dilbagh of Tarn Taran and Sunil of Gurdaspur are lodged at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore. The petitioners advocate Navkiran Singh submitted in court that he was informed of the duo by a Lahore-based Pakistani human rights lawyer Zulfiqar Ali Jehangir,who,according to the petitioners,had visited the prison and met the Indians who have served their sentences but are being detained. Jehangir has reasoned that the two are still in prison as the Ministry of External Affairs has failed to furnish the requisite documents for their return.
Highlighting their plight,Navkiran Singh on Wednesday requested the High Court to direct the External Affairs Ministry to expedite their return. The lawyer further that after receiving the information,he had contacted the wives of the two prisoners. Kiran,Dilbagh Singhs wife,disclosed that her husband was a truck driver who used to transport goods to Lahore and she claims that on one such trip,he was detained by Pakistani authorities. Seema,Sunils wife,said her husband had strayed into Pakistani territory and added that she hasnt heard from him for the past eight months.