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Examine amicus report on foreign prisoners in Delhi jails and give suggestions: HC to Centre

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The on Friday asked the Centre to examine the report given by an curiae on the challenges faced by foreign prisoners lodged in jails in the national capital and to give its suggestions to improve their plight.

A bench of and Justice A J Bhambhani asked the to go through the report of the and give its suggestions by July 9, the next date of hearing.

Ajay Verma, appointed as to assist the court in the matter, in his report has said that foreign national prisoners (FNPs) face various challenges, like delayed trial, difficulty in getting bail and understanding court proceedings due to language issues.

He has said, in his report, that FNPs faced difficulty in getting bail as trial courts were concerned that being a foreigner they may jump bail and it would be difficult to trace them and make them available for trial.

He has said that FNPs, lodged in jails here, told him that Indians who are co-accused in the same case as them are more often able to secure bail and this promotes a feeling of discrimination amongst the foreigners.

Verma has urged the court to "pass directions or guidelines after taking inputs from respondents (government and prisons) to guide the trial courts in this regard.

"It is also requested that in case the FNPs are not granted bail their cases may be expedited."

The FNPs had also raised the concern that after their arrest, there is delay in their concerned embassies being informed about the same, the report has said.

The amicus has requested the court to issue necessary directions to ensure police officials are made aware and trained about the mandatory requirements to inform the embassies after arrest of a foreign national.

The FNPs had also told the amicus, during his interaction with them, that due to differences in language and customs, they fail to undertstand "the functioning of the judicial process, including but not limited to the charges for arrest, the process of investigation, trial and the consequences of what such a process entails for the concerned FNP".

"Unless, such information or knowledge is passed onto the concerned FNP in his native language, chances remain that he / she would remain ignorant of his / her rights thereby defeating the very essence of justice, equity and conscience. Many informed that during trial they did not understands the proceedings," the report has said.

Verma has further said that in such a situation it would be just to provide a to the concerned FNP either from their concerned embassy or from the state itself.

The court was hearing a PIL initiated by it after receiving a letter from foreign women inmates regarding denial of bail and proper phone call facility to them.

As the matter progressed, the court had extended the ambit of the plea to all the foreign inmates, not just women, on the request of

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 12 2019. 20:50 IST