Intervention of the President on Foreigners arbitrary detention- STATE LEGAL AID COMMITTEE

Chairman Advisory Board:                                                                                                                              Regd. No. 2103-R S/3836

Hon’ble Mr. Justice P.N. Bhagwati

Former Chief Justice of India


Executive Chairman:

Prof. Bhim Singh, Sr. Advocate, Supreme Court of India

M.A., L.L.B. (AMU)

Bar-at-Law, L.L.M. (London)

Sr. Executive Member, Supreme Court Bar Association

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22nd December, 2015

New Delhi

Press Release

Prof.Bhim Singh urged Shri Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, Hon’ble President of India for intervention to ensure the release of Russian (40 years) lady detained in Srinagar (Kashmir) jail.    

“I am taking this liberty seeking the kind intervention for the deportation of a Russian lady, Bonetekia Zoia, a Russian citizen, presently detained in Kashmir prison. According to the newspaper reports (published in Delhi Tribune, Delhi Edition on 22.12.2015 at page 30). (A copy of the statement is attached).

Your Excellency may be pleased to intervene in the matter for ensuring deportation of the Russian lady (40 years old) who was detained on August 24, 2015 from a tourist resort at Sonamarg. According to the report published in the Delhi Tribune, I understand that this case deserves intervention of the President of India on humanitarian grounds besides other legal and technical grounds.

That the India is a sovereign country and the tourists from Nepal may enter India. According to the report published, it appears that the Russian lady had no (valid visa) to visit India if it so, it had to be ascertained how the Russian lady was allowed to enter India without valid documents, visa etc. from Nepal. The immigration at the border is responsible for this mishap and not the visiting tourist.

According to the reports the said lady was charged under section 14 of ‘Jammu and Kashmir’, Foreigners Act for not having a passport and visa. I do not find this statement as authentic because there is no Jammu and Kashmir Foreigners Act. The Foreigners Act is, The Foreigners Act, 1946 (Act No.31 of 1946). This Act was amended in 2004 (No.16 of 2004 dated 20.02.2004). There is no Jammu and Kashmir Foreigners Act. If this is the charge framed by Jammu and Kashmir it is highly objectionable and deserves urgent intervention of the Hon’ble President of India.

That the said foreigner lady, Bonetekia Zoia has been tried without providing her any reasonable defense counsel and interpreter too. Her trial is vitiated and has no constitutional basis to uphold her conviction.

This case deserves the intervention of the President of India to uphold the rule of law and the principles of natural justice which are wedded to the Constitution of India which is the largest democracy of the world.

I have been looking after the prisoners detained improperly, illegally or unconstitutionally in India or elsewhere. I understand that case of this Russian lady is that of unique nature which deals with the principles of natural justice and human dignity.

May I urge the President of India to intervene in this matter to ensure that the Russian lady named above is set free from the freezing prison of Srinagar (Kashmir), set at liberty and handed over to the Embassy of Russian Federation without any delay.

This message from the President of India should go to every corner of the world that India means justice, the land of rule of law, peace and human dignity.

Assuring Your Excellency the President of India best of the cooperation to uphold the dignity of every human being on earth as has been guaranteed by the Constitution of India.”

Sd/-Bhim Singh