Arrest of Indian fishermen by Pak: SC refuses to intervene, says political matters will be sorted out politically

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea which raised the issue of Indian fishermen getting arrested after straying into the territorial waters of Pakistan, saying political matters will be sorted out politically.

The apex court said it cannot issue directions to Pakistan to release such fishermen and that the matter cannot be determined in a petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution.

Article 32 of the Constitution empowers Indian citizens to move the apex court directly for enforcement of their fundamental rights through appropriate proceedings.

“Is this to be determined in a (Article) 32 petition? How Pakistan and India sort out their fishermen problem, in (Article) 32 petition we will issue directions? Can we issue directions to Pakistan to release them?” a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia asked the counsel appearing for the petitioners.

The bench was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by three petitioners, including two from Gujarat and one from Maharashtra.

The counsel for the petitioners sought the revival of a judicial committee comprising judges from India and Pakistan that was formed in 2008 to mutually resolve the issue of prisoners, including fishermen who got arrested for straying into each other’s maritime territory.

“What is the scenario today? What is the relationship with the country today?” the bench asked, and added “These are government issues.”

“Political matters will be sorted out politically,” the bench said and asked the petitioners to approach the government. “We are not going to get into this,” it said.

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