Dr Chisti, an 80-year-old Pakistani virologist, was sentenced to life imprisonment in Ajmer after 19 years of trial. Chishty had got involved in a fracas during his visit to Ajmer in 1992 to meet his ailing mother and, in the melee, one person was killed leading to his arrest.
Supreme Court Judge Justice, Markandey Katju, in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had appealed to order Chishty's release on humanitarian grounds. The appeal stated that Dr Chishty is nearly 80-years-old and has suffered serious health issues including heart problems and a hip fracture that rendered him unable to move on his own. He is now in the prison hospital and his family is concerned that he may not survive much longer in the jail in this condition and wishes to see him return home to spend the rest of his life.
The efforts put in by the civil society organisations of India and Pakistan were successful when authorities in the neighbouring country agreed to release Chishty.