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QUESTION NO.5118 INDIANS IN FOREIGN JAILS

July 24, 2019

LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.5118
TO BE ANSWERED ON 24.07.2019

INDIANS IN FOREIGN JAILS

†5118. SHRI CHANDESHWAR PRASAD:
SHRIMATI MANEKA SANJAY GANDHI:
DR. VIRENDRA KUMAR:
SHRI MANSUKHBHAI DHANJIBHAI VASAVA:
SHRI T.N. PRATHAPAN:
SHRI K. NAVASKANI:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether the Government has any data of Indians who are presently in the jails in various foreign countries;

(b) if so, the country, crime/case and gender-wise details in this regard;

(c) whether the Government has taken any measures to get them released from jails and if so, the details thereof;

(d) the data of Indians saved from jails in the past ten years, year-wise;

(e) the details of help and assistance provided by/being provided by Indian embassies and consulates as per the policy of the country;

(f) whether any negotiation of exchanging prisoners happened while saving Indians from the jails of other countries; and

(g) if so, the details of such negotiations happened and the data of exchanged prisoners?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN]

(a) & (b) As per the information available with the Ministry, the number of Indian prisoners in foreign jails as of 31.05.2019 is 8189 which also includes under-trials. Country-wise detailed list is given at Annexure. However, due to strong privacy laws prevailing in many countries, the local authorities do not share information on prisoners unless the person concerned consents to the disclosure of such information. Even countries which share information do not generally provide detailed information about the people of foreign countries imprisoned.

(c) & (d) The Government through its Missions/ Posts abroad and during high level visits takes up and pursues grant of amnesty/ commutation of sentences of Indian prisoners in foreign countries. Since May 2014 to present, a total of 6405 Indian nationals have been either pardoned or their term of sentence has been reduced by foreign Governments.

(e) The Government attaches the highest priority to the safety, security and well-being of Indians in foreign countries, including those in the foreign jails. Indian Missions / Posts abroad remain vigilant and closely monitor the incidents of Indian nationals being put in jail in foreign countries for violation of local laws or alleged violation of local laws. Apart from extending them all possible consular assistance, Indian Missions and Posts also assist in providing legal aid wherever needed. Missions and Posts also maintain a local panel of lawyers where Indian community is in sizeable numbers.

(f) & (g) There is a regular process of consultation and coordination with countries concerned on the issue of repatriation of Indian nationals in foreign prisons including in the context of bilateral agreements for Transfer of Sentenced Persons (TSP). India has signed Transfer of Sentenced Persons Agreement with 31 countries. India has also acceded to/ ratified the multilateral Inter-American Convention on Serving Criminal Sentences Abroad in May 2014 and the multilateral Council of Europe Convention on Transfer of Sentenced Persons in January 2018. By virtue of the bilateral agreements and accession to multilateral conventions, sentenced persons from these countries can be transferred to India and vice-versa. Since 2010 till June 2019, total 58 Indian prisoners have been transferred to India.

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