An Indian prisoner was released on Friday after spending nine extra months in jail after a court issued his release orders, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Sri Bhanudas Vital Karele, 58, was arrested in August 2010 for illegally crossing into Pakistan. However, he was granted bail by a court in September 2011 but jail authorities did not release him for lack of identity certification by the Indian High Commission.
Advocate Awais Ahmed Sheikh on October 29, 2011 filed a petition before the Lahore High Court (LHC) for the release of Karale and one Satindar Paul Singh. Jail authorities informed the court that Singh had already been released but Karele’s papers had not been received.
LHC Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry of the LHC had then ordered the home secretary to provide a list of all foreigners in jails in the province who had completed their jail terms.
On November 2, 2011, the court directed the foreign ministry to accelerate the process to repatriate 74 foreign prisoners, most of them Indians, who had completed their imprisonment.
Advocate Sheikh told The Express Tribune that Indian authorities had provided Karele’s identification documents one year ago.
He said that Karele had been mentally disturbed since 1996 when his employer shut down the business The family had reported him missing on January 3, 2010. Sheikh said he had filed the petition for his release on April 16, 2012.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2012.
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