Amritsar, Apr 7 (ANI): Pakistan on Thursday released Gopal Dass, an Indian prisoner detained in Lahore Kot Lakpat Jail for the last 27 years.
Dass was arrested in July 1984 on charges of spying after he mistakenly crossed the Indo-Pakistan border.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari had on March 27 remitted the remaining jail term of Dass on humanitarian grounds following an appeal by the Indian Supreme Court.
An apex court bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra was disposing of a writ petition filed in 2008 by Gopal Dass, through his brother Anand Vir, who said he was arrested in July1984 when he mistakenly crossed the Indo-Pakistan border.
The apex court bench referred to the Centre's counter affidavit mentioning that the petitioner had been awarded a 25-year sentence by a Pakistan court with effect from June 27, 1986 (which means he will be released on June 26, 2011).
The apex court bench, however, said: "The order of the Lt. Colonel, Commanding Officer, 27 A.K. Regiment of Pakistan states that the petitioner has been awarded life sentence by the Field General Court-Martial, which has been confirmed by the higher authority."
" Thus there is a discrepancy here. In any event, we think it appropriate to make an appeal on humanitarian grounds to the Pakistan authorities to release the petitioner as he has served almost 27 years in jail," it added. (ANI)