NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Wednesday set free octogenarian Pakistani virologist Mohammad Khalil Chisty, who had challenged the life imprisonment given to him for a murder in Rajasthan in 1992.
The court of Justices P. Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi said the prison sentence of one year and four months that Chisty had already undergone was sufficient to meet the ends of justice.Pronouncing the judgement, Justice Sathasivam said Chisty was free to return to his country without any restrictions.Keeping in view his age and qualification, the court directed the concerned department of the government to ensure “smooth result” of Chisty to Pakistan.
The court also directed its registry to return Rs.5 lakh along with interest approved on it that Chisty had deposited with it following May 10, 2012 order.The Pakistani scientist has fought a 20-year-long legal battle. He came to Ajmer in 1992 to visit his ailing mother. However, he allegedly got himself involved in a brawl in which one of his relatives was killed.Born in Ajmer to a prosperous family of caretakers of the Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti shrine, Chishti was studying in Pakistan at the time of partition in 1947 and chose to stay there.
Chisti had appealed in the apex court against the verdict of the Rajasthan High Court, which had upheld a trial court’s judgement convicting him in a murder case in Ajmer. The trial court had sentenced the Pakistani national to life.In April, 2012, Dr Chisthi was granted bail by the Supreme Court and was allowed to visit his home town Karachi. He is now 82 years old and suffers from heart ailment.
In January 2011, he was awarded life imprisonment after an 18-year-long trial. Till then, he had remained largely under house arrest in Rajasthan, his lawyers say. After he was given the life sentence, he was placed in the Ajmer Jail. Some others convicted in the same case had been granted bail.It is vital to mention here that Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari had written a letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and appealed him to send Dr. Khalil Chishti to Pakistan on humanitarian grounds. – Onlinenews