'Sue Pak authorities for illegal detention there'
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Aug 19: The Supreme Court today refused to direct the Centre to compensate a man who languished for 28 years in Pakistan jails after he failed to substantiate his claim that he was working for RAW there.
A bench headed by Justice Markandeya Katju said the petitioner Gopal Das of Punjab's Gurdaspur was put behind the bars by Pakistani authorities and he can sue them for it.
"Where have you said in your petition that he was working as a government employee? First get declared that he was a government employee and was working for RAW and then come to us," the bench said.
The apex court said it was not mentioned anywhere that he was working for the government.
"Do you see the consequences if the highest court is to adjudicate that he is a spy," the bench said adding "he was put behind the bars by the Pakistan authorities. So, you go there and sue them."
Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra, appearing for the Centre, said Das was not a government employee and his claim of working for Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is wrong.
Das was arrested by Pakistan border guards in 1984 and sent to jail after being convicted under Official Secret Act. He was released on April 7 at the initiative taken by the apex court which appealed the Centre to approach the neighbouring country for his release.
Advocate Arvind Sharma, appearing for Das, submitted the court should direct the government to compensate him as he had to spend 28 years behind the bars while working for the government.
The bench, however, was not satisfied with his contention after he could not substantiate that he was working as spy. It allowed him to approach the appropriate authority for any relief.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 19 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 19 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 20 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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