New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine a plea by the mother of an Army officer, who, she claimed was lodged in a Pakistani jail for over 24 years, seeking direction to the Central government to take immediate measures for his repatriation.
Advocate Saurabh Mishra mentioned the plea before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana, saying the Army officer is lodged in a Pakistani jail and sought the urgent listing of the matter. After hearing brief submissions, the bench, also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and Hima Kohli, said the court will list the matter in April for hearing.
The plea has been filed by 81-year-old Kamla Bhattacharjee, mother of Captain Sanjit Bhattacharjee, seeking directions to the Central government to look into the matter on an urgent humanitarian basis. The petitioner claimed she had received information that her son was lodged in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail. In March last year, the top court had sought reply from the Centre on the plea. The petitioner’s husband died in November 2020, after waiting for his son.
The petitioner said in April 1997, her family was informed that Bhattacharjee had gone for patrolling duty at night time on a joint border in Gujarat’s Rann of Kutch. The plea added that the family was informed that he was apprehended by the Pakistan authorities while carrying out along the international borders on April 20. Sanjit was commissioned as an officer of Gorkha Rifles Regiment of the Indian Army in August 1992.
The petitioner’s family in April 2004, received a letter from the Ministry of Defence stating that he was presumed to be dead. “The petitioner’s son in the span of the past twenty-three years has not been given any opportunity to state his case before the appropriate authority or allowed to communicate with his family members,” said the plea.