Cases against 127 Indian fishermen disposed of in Pak

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Rezaul H LaskarIslamabad, Feb 27 (PTI) Pakistani authorities haveinformed the Supreme Court that cases registered against 127Indian fishermen have been disposed of by the Sindh HighCourt, paving the way for their release.

A member of an inspection team of the Sindh High Courttold the apex court yesterday that 13 separate casesregistered against the Indian fishermen had been disposed ofon the directions of a Supreme Court bench headed by ChiefJustice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

The apex court had recently ordered the High Court toexpeditiously decide the cases against the Indian fishermen onmerit.

The order was issued in response to a constitutionalpetition filed in the apex court by the Pakistan FisherfolkForum and the Indian fishermen.

The petitioners challenged the arrest and continuingdetention of the Indian fishermen.

India and Pakistan arrest scores of fishermen everyyear for violating each other''s maritime boundaries.

Many of the fishermen languish in jail for years evenafter completing prison terms given to them by courts.

Pakistan recently repatriated 12 Indian prisoners,including 11 fishermen, who had been held in a jail in Karachifor nearly three years even after completing their prisonterms.

Another 442 Indian fishermen were freed last yearafter two Pakistani NGOs petitioned the Supreme Court fortheir release.

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