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QUESTION NO.2897 INDIANS LANGUISHING IN FOREIGN JAILS

July 18, 2019

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.2897
TO BE ANSWERED ON 18.07.2019

INDIANS LANGUISHING IN FOREIGN JAILS

2897. SARDAR SUKHDEV SINGH DHINDSA:
SHRI VEER SINGH:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether Government is aware that a large number of Indians are languishing in jails of various countries including Pakistan and Gulf countries;

(b) if so, the details thereof, country-wise;

(c) the types of assistance provided to them; and

(d) the steps taken/ being taken by Government to ensure release of such prisoners and their safe passage to the country?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
(SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN)

(a) & (b) As per the information available with the Ministry, the number of Indian prisoners in foreign jails as of 31.05.2019 is 8189 which also includes under-trials. Country-wise list is given atAnnexure.Tamil.pdf However, due to strong privacy laws prevailing in many countries, the local authorities do not share information on prisoners unless the person concerned consents to the disclosure of such information. Even countries which share information do not generally provide detailed information about the people of foreign countries imprisoned.

(c) & (d) Indian Missions / Posts abroad remain vigilant and closely monitor the incidents of Indian nationals being put in jail in foreign countries for violation of local laws or alleged violation of local laws. Apart from extending them all possible consular assistance, Indian Missions and Posts also assist in providing legal aid wherever needed. Missions and Posts also maintain a local panel of lawyers where Indian community is in sizeable numbers. There is a regular process of consultation and coordination with countries concerned on the issue of repatriation of Indian nationals in foreign prisons including in the context of bilateral agreements for Transfer of Sentenced Persons (TSP).

In addition, the Government through its Missions/ Posts abroad also takes up and pursues grant of amnesty/ commutation of sentences of Indian prisoners in foreign countries. Since 2016 till present, in the countries in Gulf region a total of 3087 Indian nationals have received amnesty or commutation of their sentences.

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