ISLAMABAD-The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday issued notices to the secretaries of Foreign Affairs and Interior ministries in the Indian High Commission’s petition seeking the release of its four spies convicted by military courts on charges of espionage and terrorism in Pakistan.

 A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah conducted hearing of the commission’s petition filed through Barrister Malik Shah Nawaz Noon and directed the respondents to submit their replies in this matter. 

During the hearing, the IHC Chief Justice asked that why these prisoners were not being released if they had completed their sentence. The court directed the deputy attorney general to submit federation’s response in this matter.  The DAG sought some time saying that he would submit the reply after seeking instructions from the government. 

Later, the bench deferred hearing till October 28 for further proceedings after clubbing another petition of the Indian High Commission seeking release of four other prisoners with it.  In the petition, the commission cited Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Interior and Secretary Foreign Affairs as respondents.  The petition requested the court to release the Indian prisoners including Birchu, Bang Kumar, Satish Bhag and Sonu Singh as they have served their sentence. 

The petition stated that the condemned prisoners were arrested by Pakistani military authorities and were charged under section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act, 1954 and provisions of Official Secret Act, 1923.