HC rejects acquittal plea of Pak national Chishti

Rajasthan High Court rejected Pakistani national Mohammad Khalil Chishti`s plea for acquittal on humanitarian grounds.

Updated: Dec 20, 2011, 23:44 PM IST

Jaipur: Hopes of elderly Pakistani
national Mohammad Khalil Chishti to return home after 20 years
were dashed on Tuesday when Rajasthan High Court rejected his plea
for acquittal on humanitarian grounds, upholding his life
imprisonment in a murder case.

A Division Bench of the court comprising Justice RS
Rathore and Justice Sajjan Singh Kothari dismissed Chishti`s
appeal against the order of a trial court in Ajmer convicting
him in the murder case after a trial lasting 18 years.

81-year-old Chishti, a doctor by profession, was on
bail during the long trial but was arrested and sent to Ajmer
jail after conviction this year.

The bench rejected Chishti`s appeal as being devoid of

Markendey Katju, a former Supreme Court judge and
Chairman of Press Council of India, is among prominent figures
who have made representations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
for release of Chishti on humanitarian grounds.

Chishti came to India in 1992 to attend a marriage and
was staying at his father`s house in Ajmer, where a few
persons trespassed and attacked and manhandled some of his
family members.

"During the scuffle, one of the trespassers was shot
dead for which he along with his family members Farukh Chishti
and Yasir Chishti was prosecuted on charges of murder,"
according to his advocate Ravi Kiran Mathur.

During the trial, he was not allowed to leave India,
resulting in his stay in Ajmer for almost two decades.

Civil rights activists including National Advisory
Council member Aruna Roy have pleaded for the release of
Chishti, just as Pakistan had freed Gopaldas, an Indian
prisoner in Pakistan.

Chishti`s family had met Rajasthan Governor Shivraj
Patil, with whom a mercy petition has been pending and have
appealed to him to release the virologist under article 161 of
the Constitution (Remission of sentence).

Pakistani Human rights activist Ansar Burney had also
come to India and appealed to the country`s leadership for
release of Chisti.