New Delhi: The Supreme Court today asked
Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to take instructions from
the Centre on the plea of an Indian prisoner languishing in a
Pakistani jail for the last 26 years on the charge of spying.
A Bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and T S Thakur
passed the direction on a fresh application filed by the
prisoner Gopal Dass` family through counsel Arvind Sharma
complaining that the Centre was not taking any step to take
him back despite Pakistan government`s decision to release
The counsel submitted that Dass was arrested in 1984 on
the false charge of espionage by Pakistan government and was
sentenced to 14 years imprisonment by the court there.
He claimed Dass, a native of Punjabs` Gurdaspur district,
was just 22 years when he had inadvertently strayed into the
Pakistani territory leading to his arrest on the false
charge of espionage.
According to the counsel, though Pakistani authorites
had released him 2007 after he had served the sentence, the
Centre was unwilling to take him back on the ground that he
was not a citizen of this country.
The Bench, which was initially not inclined to interfere,
later relented and asked the Solicitor General to take
instructions from government and adjourned the matter.
"How can Indian courts pass directions to foreign
countries? You approach Pakistani courts," the Bench had
However, it later relented after the counsel submitted
that it were the Indian authorities which were not willing to
take him back even though Pakistani authorities had agreed to
release him as he had completed his sentence.