A Pakistani court has directed authorities to produce an Indian prisoner who has allegedly been languishing in a jail for the past 44 years.
Justice Umer Ata Bandial of the Lahore high court issued a notice to the inspector general of prisons of Punjab province in response to a petition seeking the release of Indian national Madan Lal, who is allegedly being held in jail.
Lawyer Awais Sheikh filed the petition, in which he said he had taken up the issue after meeting Madan Lal's brother Suraj Bhan during a recent visit to India.
"Bhan told me that his brother Madan Lal mistakenly entered Pakistan in 1967 and was arrested by the authorities," Sheikh claimed.
He said Indian authorities had informed Bhan that Madan Lal was last seen in June 1984 in a district jail in Bahawalnagar.
Madan Lal's current whereabouts are not known to anyone, Sheikh said.
He further said that he had visited the central jail in Lahore with the permission of the Punjab home secretary in order to meet Madan Lal, but authorities told him there was no prisoner by that name.
Sheikh said he had sent a written request to the inspector general of prisons but had not received any response.
He asked the court to direct the authorities to trace Madan Lal and order his repatriation.
After hearing arguments, Justice Bandial directed the inspector general of prisons to submit a reply at the next hearing of the case on May 7.