The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed its concern over 16 mentally challenged prisoners, who are believed to be Pakistani, and remain in Indian jails though they have served their sentences.
The judges asked why their cases had not been discussed by the Prime Minister at his lunch meet on Sunday in Delhi with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari. "For how many years can they be in jail? The problem is they are not being sent back to Pakistan," the judges said. Mr Zardari was on what was described as a private visit to India to visit the Ajmer dargah. He had a one-on-one meeting with Dr Manmohan Singh; that was followed by a lunch which was attended by Rahul Gandhi and several senior ministers.
Panther Party Chief Bhim Singh has filed a petition asking for the prisoners to be allowed to return to Pakistan. But in some cases, their nationality has not yet been accepted or identified by Pakistani officials.
The government told the court that it is discussing the cases with the Pakistani High Commissioner. The case will next be heard on May 2.