SC slams govt for doing nothing to secure release of Indian | delhi | Hindustan Times
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SC slams govt for doing nothing to secure release of Indian

delhi Updated: Jul 13, 2009 22:16 IST

The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the government for not taking steps for bringing back an Indian prisoner languishing in Pakistani jail for the last twenty two years on charges of spying.

The apex court said no steps have been taken to get back the victim despite Pakistan agreeing to free him in August 2007.

"They (Pakistan) want to release somebody but the government is not doing anything. Government is not coming forward," a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said and asked the Attorney General G E Vahanvati to apprise about the situation.

Gopal Dass, in his 60s and now lodged in Lahore Central Jail, submitted he was arrested in Pakistan for inadvertently crossing the border and was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1986, which he completed in 2005.

Realising the gravity of the situation, Vahanvati said "I am not getting consular access".

"To accept him and to have access to him, there is a need for consular access," he told the Bench also comprising Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal.

Dass' petition, filed through his Gurdaspur-based brother Anand Vir in February 2008, contended that his release could be secured only through diplomatic channels but the Centre was not taking any step for that due to which he was still languishing in the jail even after completing life sentence.