Veteran Muthukrishnan has forwarded the extract of the front page news reported by the New Indian Express in today's (24-12-2011) issue.
It seems that the Judiciary has taken the role of conscience keeper of the Army, due to lack of endeavour form both the Govt and the Army. In a scathing attack on the Govt's inaction, the Gujarat High Court directed it to move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, within two months to secure the release of 54 Prisoners of War (POW), languishing in Pakistani Jails since 1971.
The Court's Directive was explicit. "The Union of India shall within two months, from today approach the ICJ alleging breach of Simla Agreement at the instance of Pakistan for not releasing the soldiers".
The Judges turned down the Union Govt's contention that the Court cannot direct it to take decision on policy matters.
The Court Observed, " this is not a case of interference with the policy decision of Union of India, but is one of inaction on its part in not taking lawful steps for protecting the life and personal liberty of its citizens, who did not hesitate to risk their life and comfort for protecting their mother land".
This case was first filed in 1999, by late Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Arora, the hero of 1971 war, who had sought the release of the POW.
The Division Bench headed by the acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Battachrya and Justice JB Pardiwala also directed the Govt to pay the next of kin of these POW, full service / retirement benefits within three months.
There is no doubt that the Govt was quite casual in its approach to this grave problem. But, what about our own Army HQ and our own Chiefs over the past four decades? Did they prevail upon the Govt for rendering justice to these unfortunate souls, because of whom they won their awards and laurels?
Let us not forget that this judgement was from the Gujarat High Court. Will the Army's top brass prevent the MOD or the MOE form approaching the Supreme court for a stay on the execution of the Court's verdict?
It is time for our forces to retrieve the honour and conscience which have been pleged to the Courts of Justice.
Sent by Raman TN Sarma
Monday, December 26, 2011
THE PLIGHT OF INDIAN PRISONERS OF WAR (POWs) IN PAKISTAN JAILS
The Gujarat high court on Friday directed the Centre to consider 1971 prisoners of war languishing in Pakistani jail on duty, pay full salaries to their families and give them retirement benefits within three months with adequate compensation.
The court was hearing a petition filed in 1999 by late Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Arora, who had sought directions from the court for the centre for the PoWs' release. But the court said the POWs' families will have to return the compensation once they are released and pulled up the Centre for not making 'any sincere moves' to get them released.
It directed the Centre to file a petition in the International Court of Justice for their release. The court said the Centre had been "guilty of inaction and not protecting rights of citizens, who defend the country's boundaries" by not approaching the ICJ so far. It had fined the defence ministry Rs 10,000 twice for not filing appropriate reply in the case for over 10 years despite repeated notices in