The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Union government to expedite the release and deportation of all Pakistani and other nationals lodged in various prisons in the country.

A Bench of Justices R.M. Lodha and H.L. Gokhale told Additional Solicitor-General Parag Tripathi that there was no justification for keeping them in prisons.

The Bench passed the order on a writ petition filed by Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh, alleging that a large number of Pakistani prisoners were lodged in jails even after they completed their terms.

The Bench asked the Centre to file an action taken report on January 24, 2012, the next date of hearing.

The Bench, however, took exception to Mr. Bhim Singh providing unverified details of foreign nationals lodged in Indian jails. At the last hearing, he had mentioned about the plight of four Pakistani women prisoners.

But the government said two of them were undergoing a 10-year sentence for drugs smuggling, while the third was on trial for unlawful activities. The fourth was a four-year-old girl child (Heena) of one of the prisoners in the central jail in Amritsar. Also, a few other Pakistani nationals did not want to be deported despite the orders passed to that effect and had sought asylum in third countries through the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

‘Decide her status'

Pointing out that the court could not order the release of convicted persons before they had undergone their sentence, the Bench advised the Punjab government to produce the child before the child welfare committee set up under the Juvenile Justice Act for deciding her status with her mother's consent.

The Bench asked Mr. Bhim Singh to approach the court with correct details.

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