Mercy plea of Pakistani prisoner cleared

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Ajmer, Jun 18: Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister, Rajasthan cleared the mercy plea of Khaleel Chisity after Supreme Court Justice, Markandey Katju appealed that he be freed. The petition has been forwarded to the governor.

The mercy plea will be cleared if the governor gives it a green signal.

Markandey Katju earlier had put forward an appeal to Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister to free Dr Khaleel Chishty, a Pakistani prisoner who has been imprisoned in India for about 20 years.

Under Article 72 of constitution, the SC judge requested the Prime Minister to look into the matter and said that Chisty was very old now and "it will be a disgrace for our country if he dies in jail."

"Time is of the essence in the matter, if a pardon is granted it will enhance the prestige of India," Katju had said putting forward his plea.

A a micro-biologist from Karachi, Chisty came to Ajmer in 1992 to visit his ill mother. He was later arrested on charges of murder.

"We are praying to Khwaja sahib that my brother should be released so that he can return home to his wife and children. He is in his final phase of life and we are afraid that he could expire any day," said his brother Jameel Chishty.

BJP was outraged at Justice Katju's plea and drew parallel's between the case of Khalil Chisty and Sarabjit Singh, Indian prisoner who is jailed in Pakistan.

"It appears odd that a sitting judge of the Supreme Court, even though in his individual capacity, is talking about the release of a Pakistani prisoner. We would only say this if the government elects to consider that request - certainly, Sarabjit who is detained in Pakistan about whom there is a continuous demand that he should be released, the Government of India should ensure that he too is released," said BJP spokesperson, Ravi shankar Prasad.

Unable to walk properly and a heart patient, Khaleel is always carried by people in jail.

Human Rights activists argue that the man has already suffered a lot and whatever is happening to him is inhuman. They demanded a release of Chisty on the grounds that it would do justice to the old man.

Pakistan Supreme Court rejected the appeal on Wednesday, Jun 15 saying that the case cannot be handled by the country as it is beyond territorial jurisdiction.

His family wants Chisty to come back as they claim that he will not live any longer and his wish before he dies is to be in Pakistan, seeing his family and children.

The appeal made by Markandey Katju only brings a flash of hope in the lives of the prisoners family and possibly reminds the Indian government of same what was done by Pakistan when Gopal Dass, an Indian prisoner was released after 27 years by the Pakistani President on humanitarian levels.

OneIndia News

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