The Supreme Court on Friday decided to examine a habeas corpus plea made by the children of a Pakistan national who they believe has been unlawfully detained for seven years.
A Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud issued notice to the government on a petition filed by Ana Parveen and Rohil Khan, the Meerut-based children of Mohd. Qamar @ Mohd. Kamil.
Ms. Parveen, represented by senior advocate Sanjay Parikh, contended that their father has been unlawfully lodged in the detention centre at Lampur, Narela in Delhi. They asked the Bench to order the government to produce him in court.
Further, the siblings said their father should be released on furnishing a bond of ₹5,000 with two sureties of like sum by Indian citizens and allowed to return to his family in Meerut "subject to reasonable restrictions and conditions".
The petition said Mohd. Qamar @ Mohd. Kamil was declared a foreigner (Pakistani citizen) and convicted under Section 14 of the Foreigners Act, 1946 (Henceforth, ‘Foreigners Act’) by a Meerut court in 2014.
He was sentenced to over three years' imprisonment, which he had served.
After his sentence, he was lodged in the Narela detention centre to be deported to Pakistan.
"He is lodged in the detention centre for about seven years as the Pakistan authority has refused to acknowledge him as a Pakistan national," the petition said.
Cite 2020 order
However, the siblings referred to an order passed by the top court in 2020, "to release the prisoners and detenues in general keeping in view the prevailing conditions due to COVID-19 pandemic".
The petition argued that the top court order applies to their father's case as detenues declared as ‘foreigners’ across the country in different detention centres face hardships.
"There cannot be any differentiation on application of law based on the country of deportation," the petition said.