Today News Online Service
New Delhi, March 5
The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre on a petition filed by the mother of an Army officer seeking direction to take immediate steps through diplomatic channels for repatriation of her son languishing in Pakistani jail for more than 23 years.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde asked the Centre to respond to the petition filed by 81-year-old Kamla Bhattacharjee seeking directions to the authorities to intervene on an urgent humanitarian basis to secure his son Captain Sanjit Bhattacharjee.
The petitioner submitted that she had received information that her son — commissioned as Gorkha Rifles Regiment officer in 1992 — was lodged in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail.
Stating that her husband died on November 28, 2020, after waiting for his son for 23 years, the petitioner submitted that she has herself turned 81 yearning for one sight of her son.
She said her family was informed in April 1997 that Captain Sanjit was apprehended by the Pakistan authorities while carrying out operation reconnaissance along the international borders on April 20 while he was on a patrolling duty at night time on a joint border in Gujarat’s Rann of Kutch.
The petitioner said her son had not been given any opportunity to state his case before the appropriate authority or allowed to communicate with his family members in the last 23 years.
It said in April 2004, the petitioner’s family received a letter from the Ministry of Defence stating that Sanjit was presumed to be dead. Later, she received a letter dated May 31, 2010 from a Major General informing that Sanjit’s name had been added to the list of missing prisoners of war (POWs).
It said the petitioner was informed that the issue of missing defence personnel was taken up with Pakistani authorities several times, including during the Agra summit in July 2001, but the Pakistani officials said Sanjit could not be traced.