The Supreme Court of India on 24 January 2012 criticized the Union government for total inaction in dealing with the prolonged imprisonment of several foreign nationals in Indian jails despite them having completed their sentences. The court directed the government to repatriate them within a month.
A bench of the apex court noted that prolonged detention of foreign nationals was violative of the constitutional right of life and liberty granted under Article 21 of the Constitution of India to every person in the country, including foreign nationals. It said violation of this right cannot be condoned by the courts.
There are 365 foreign nationals lodged in different jails including in Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh who have completed their sentences ranging from one to 10 years.