Northeast

Four foreigners imprisoned in Sajiwa beyond jail term due to 'lack of paperwork'

The government must speed up the documentation process with other country governments for deportation of foreigners who have completed their jail terms, says Chief Justice PV Sanjay Kumar.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 28 Aug 2022, 4:57 pm

Manipur Central Jail, Sajiwa (Photo: IFP)
Manipur Central Jail, Sajiwa (Photo: IFP)

Owing to lack of paperwork, a few foreigners continue to languish in Manipur Central Jail, Sajiwa even long after the completion of their jail terms, Manipur High Court Chief Justice PV Sanjay Kumar.

“There is a lot of paperwork to be done and with lack of paperwork, foreigners are stagnating and imprisoned long after expiry of jail terms,” the Chief Justice said during a surprise visit along with a joint legal and media team to Sajiwa Jail in Imphal on Saturday.

During the visit, it was found that at least four foreigners are being lodged in Sajiwa Jail though their jail term has expired. Two are Chinese, one Taiwanese and two others are Myanmarese.

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One prisoner from China was convicted for two years but has been staying beyond his jail term for one-and-half years, while the other is in unsound condition and hence kept in a separate room. The one from Taiwan has completed four years conviction period, but has been staying on for six more months. The one from Myanmar is under trial period.

The Chief Justice told the media that documentation for their deportation has to be obtained from the government of the country of which they should be deported. The secretary of state legal service authority has been told to conduct documentation, he said.

“I have already taken up the issue with the secretary of state legal service authority for documentation,” he said. He also said that human beings have constitutional rights and all may not be available to them but Article 21 is available to them and there is clear violation of that right.

The government needs to speed up the process with other governments so that the documentation is obtained immediately and that the foreigners can be deported either back to the country that they have come from or any other country which has given them refugee status, he said.

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The Chief Justice further said, "Inmates who have been convicted or under trial are human beings like the rest of us. We need to recognise that they have certain rights even if they are in prison; we need to value and respect their rights... Manipur, being a poor state, we can’t have high expectations of the living condition of the prisoners but that they are in fairly good condition.”

Kumar also said that there is always scope for improvement and the state government can provide funds for maintenance of buildings and facilities where they can learn vocational skills that will be useful to society.

“There is a certain aspect that will also need to take special note, i.e., there are inmates who are mentally unstable. There is also fear of them doing either harm to themselves or to others but even if they are such people, we need to see that they are kept segregated and that we treat them with all possible humanity,” the Chief Justice told the media.

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Tags:

Manipur Central JailSajiwa jailforeign prisonersforeigners

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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