Chandigarh, July 13: The Centre on Wednesday told the Punjab and Haryana high court that 16 prisoners lodged in Amritsar central jail are Pakistan nationals, but the neighbouring country is disputing their nationality.
Additional solicitor general Satya Pal Jain, during the resumed hearing of a petition initiated by the court to monitor welfare schemes for prisoners, said that a total of 38 foreign nationals were lodged in Amritsar central jail.
Out of them 16 have been sent back to their countries whereas two have died, he said and added that of the remaining 20, 16 are Pakistan nationals, two from Bangladesh and one each from Nepal and Myanmar.
He said the matter was taken up with Pakistan, but the latter has denied that these persons are its nationals.
The court while adjourning the matter directed the Centre to have a mechanism to establish identities of foreign nationals in different jails so that they can be sent back on completion of their terms.
The Centre’s response had come after a 2016 order of high court seeking details about nationalities of various prisoners after the Punjab government told the court that nearly 38 foreign nationals, who have completed their sentences were either in jails or in transit camps as they could not be released without prior permission from the central government.
The Centre’s nod is necessary for release of foreign nationals, but it was not responding to state’s letters on the issue.
News Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com