Why Pakistanis in jail if sentence over: SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed its anguish at mentally challenged and deaf-mute foreign nationals, mostly Pakistanis, who continued to languish in Indian jails long after completing their sentence and asked why the issue could "not be taken up at the highest level".

An apex court bench headed by Justice R.M. Lodha said that 'such cases pains us' and wanted to know "what is the hitch, problem and impediment" in the cases of these 16 people.

The issue of 16 foreign nationals believed to Pakistani citizens, 14 of them mentally challenged and two deaf-mute, still in jail despite completing their sentences had come up before the court.

Pointing to the meeting between Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday, Justice Lodha asked: "Why can't the problem of these prisoners be taken up at the highest level?"

As additional solicitor general P.P Malhota sought more time so that he could sit with the petitioner, senior counsel Bhim Singh, the court adjourned the hearing till May 2.

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