Mohali resident moves HC on release of Sikh detainees

Chandigarh: More than a month after Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa raised his voice for the release of Sikh detainees languishing in jails even on “completion” of their jail term, Mohali resident Mandeep Kaur filed a PIL in the High Court today, seeking directions to the State of Punjab, the UT Home Secretary and Burail Jail Superintendent to release such detainees in Chandigarh and Punjab jails.

Directions have also been sought for compensating the detainees and initiating legal action against “guilty officials”.

Referring to a news report carried in these columns, Mandeep Kaur through counsel Dalip Mahajan, said Gurmeet Singh, Lakhwinder Singh and Shamsher Singh were lodged in the Burail jail since 1995. “They have already served a jail sentence of 18 years, and have no criminal background.”

The other three Sikh detainees, Lal Singh, Waryam Singh and Gurdeep Singh Khera, had spent over 20 years in jail, she said

She said many more prisoners were languishing in Punjab jails though they had completed their jail term and their further detention was illegal.

“The act and conduct on the part of the respondents has been in violation of Article 21 and 14 of the Constitution of India”, the petitioner argued. Claiming that the detainees were entitled to be released with immediate effect as they had completed their term, she said detention after undergoing the prescribed sentence was “illegal”. Counsel Mahajan said the law points involved in the matter were whether the prisoners who had completed their term were not entitled to be released and whether the detainees were not entitled to exemplary compensation.

The petition is expected to come up for hearing during the winter vacation.

Source: The Tribune

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