PUCL, September 2005

People's Union for Civil Liberties, Rajasthan
1111, Barkat Nagar, Kisan Marg, Jaipur -302015
Phone No. 2706483, 2591408, 2593533, Fax : 2710170
e. mail : pucl.rajasthan@gmail.com

30th September 2005

High Court ruling on Pakistani and other foreign nationals in Rajasthan jails

-- By Kavita Srivastava, General Secretary

Illegal detention of Pakistani national Sabir Bashir in Jaipur jail questioned by the Rajasthan High Court Jaipur, bench

Court orders for list of all foreign nationals languishing in Rajasthan jails

.In a significant order passed by the Rajasthan High
Court, Jaipur Bench today on 30th September 2005, it
directed the State of Rajasthan to provide a complete
list of all foreign nationals who have served their
sentence and are languishing in the various jails in
Rajasthan along with the reasons of why they have not
been repatriated.

This order was given by a division bench of the
Rajasthan High Court presided by Justice VK Bali and
Justice RS Chauhan in a habeas corpus petition filed
by the People's Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL)
praying repatriation of Pakistani Journalist Sajid
Bashir. The court flayed the Union of India standing
counsel Kamlakar Sharma for the curtailment of the
liberty of Sajid by his continued detention in jail
even after he had served the full sentence. They
stated that right of liberty of even foreign nationals
could not be curtailed.

The Court ordered that Union of India and State of
Rajasthan to provide cogent reasons for the continued
detention of Sajid Bashir. They hoped that by the next
hearing Sajid Bashir would be repatriated. The Court
also granted permission to the PUCL to meet Sajid

The lawyer for PUCL was Ajay Kumar Jain. The next
hearing has been slated for 18th October after the
autumn break when Courts will be closed.

The court lashed out at Advocate General BP Agarwal
representing the State of Rajasthan for not producing
any document that validated their claim that Pakistan
Government had been informed about Sajid Rashid's
detention in the Central Jail of Jaipur.

Twenty two year old Pakistani national Sajid Bashir of
Bahawal Nagar was booked by the Rajasthan Police for
violating the Officials secret Act in 1991. He was
arrested at the Nachna Border (Jaislamer). Sajid
Bashir version of his entry into India was that it was
accidental while hunting deer, which was a passion
with him then. Since there was no fencing on the
border he did not know that he had crossed the border.
After a protracted trial that lasted ten years he was
sentenced for twelve years by the trial Court in
Jaipur in 2001 Having completed his sentence in 2003
instead of being repatriated back to his country he
was illegally detained in Jaipur Central Jail. Sajid
Bashir had brought this matter to the notice of the
media and Dainik Bhaskar carried a feature written by
Avinish Jain on 14 August 2005 and later on 26th
September senior columnist Kamleshwar wrote once again
in the editorial pages of Dainik Bhaskar about the
human rights violation that Sajid Bashir was being
subjected to by not being repatriated back to
Pakistan. Subsequently PUCL moved a Habeas Corpus
petition in the Rajasthan High Court on 28th September
2005after it was denied permission to meet Sajid
Bashir or provide him access to a lawyer for his power
of attorney.

The matter came up first on the 29th of September when
the court asked that Sajid Bashir be produced in Court
today on 30th September.

Today Sajid Bashir is 37 year old. He has spent 15
years in jail. Talking to PUCL representatives Sajid
Bashir told us that he had learnt to read and write
Urdu in the Devngairi script. Before his arrest he had
been working working with Wafat for the last three
years. Even today he saw his identity as a media
person and as such he read all the papers that they
were provided many times over each day. He missed not
being given the permission to watch TV. He felt that
having lived the main part of his conscious life in
jail his mission was to now ensure that ordinary
Indian and Pakistani citizens were not used as tools
by their Governments and thus caught in the political
cross fire of the two nations. He publicly reiterated
his faith in the Indian Judiciary and was certain that
with the Rajasthan High Court's intervention he would
be home very soon.

He provided PUCL with information on Pakistanis in
Rajasthan Jails and hopes that PUCL will make similar
intervention in their matter.



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