PESHAWAR: Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday directed the defence ministry to file within three days, the written comments on a petition of imprisoned Indian national Hamid Nehal Ansari, reported by a local English daily.
Hamid Nehal Ansari sought a reduction in the three-year prison term awarded to him by a military court in Dec 2015.
Chief Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Mohammad Ghazanfar Khan have asked the Deputy Attorney General Mussaratullah Khan to submit the said comments by the next hearing that is due to take place on January 31.
The petitioner is currently under detention in the Mardan district prison and has challenged the words ‘anti-state activities’ that are mentioned on his jail warrants. Nehal Ansari maintains that neither he was never convicted by any military court nor was involved in anti-state activities.
The petitioner requested the authorities of Mardan prison to allow a reduction in his sentence with effect from December 15, 2015, the date that he was convicted.
The petitioner’s lawyer says his client crossed the border accidentally as was without relevant documents. He admitted that his client had a fake ID card. The lawyer also said his client could only be convicted under the Passport Act or for the offence of preparing forged documents.
The petitioner was a teacher at the Mumbai Management College in India. On November 4, 2012, he had left India for Afghanistan on a valid tourist visa and later headed towards Peshawar on November 12, 2012. He had a fake passport due to which he was arrested at a Kohat hotel on November 14, 2012.