The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to put in place a proper mechanism to ensure that the Pakistani prisoners are deported back to their country in a time-bound manner after completing their sentences.
A bench headed by justice RM Lodha gave the direction while expressing concern over the delay in deporting prisoners who remained in the detention centres in the country despite completing their prison terms.
"It should not be an unending exercise. After completion of sentences, the prisoners should be deported in a time-bound manner," the bench said while pointing out that many such prisoners are mentally unsound.
"There should be some sense of urgency. You should develop some mechanism for timely deportation," it said.
The bench was referring to 43 prisoners, 19 of whom are mentally unsound and 13 fishermen, who are languishing in jails despite having served their sentences.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by Jammu and Kashmir Panthers Party leader Prof Bhim Singh seeking its direction to the Centre for repatriation of Pakistani prisoners, languishing in various jails across the country despite having served their sentences.
The bench, however, expressed satisfaction over the efforts made by the Centre to deport such prisoners but said it must be done in a time-bound manner.