New Delhi, May 29 (PTI) A PIL was moved in the Delhi High Court today for a “detailed investigation” into alleged lapses on the part of the Union government in saving 39 Indians, who were killed by the terror outfit ISIS after their abduction from Mosul in Iraq in 2014.

The matter came up for hearing before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar. The bench asked the petitioner, a lawyer, whether the government saved any lives.

During the brief hearing, which remained inconclusive today, the petitioner — advocate Mehmood Pracha — contended that the Centre was aware long back that the abducted Indians had been killed by the terror outfit, but chose not to disclose it and kept taking the stand that they were alive.

He also said that when the bodies were brought back to India in March this year, the government did not allow the families of the victims to open the caskets.

The bench asked him when the government should have declared that the abductees were dead.

It also asked whether any of the family members or relatives of the victims objected to not being allowed to open the casket.

Advocates Manik Dogra, appearing for the Centre and the Intelligence Bureau, that have been arrayed as parties in the matter, told the court that India as a country does not say “missing, presumed dead”.

“Till 100 per cent confirmation of death, we continue to believe they are alive,” Dogra said.

The court will continue to hear the matter next on May 31.

Pracha had earlier in 2015 moved the court challenging a look-out circular issued against him to prevent him and his delegation from going to Iraq.

In his PIL, he has claimed that the reason he was stopped from travelling to Iraq was to ensure that his delegation did not find out about the fate of the 39 Indians, whose bodies were recently exhumed from a mass grave in Badosh, a village near Mosul, and brought back.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.