HC rejects acquittal plea of Pak national Chishti
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Last Updated: Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 23:44
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 "merits".

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.


First Published: Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 23:44

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