SC permits Chishti to visit Pakistan

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Supreme Court
New Delhi, May 10: After 20 years of stay in India, 82-year-old Pakistani microbiologist Mohammed Khalil Chishti, facing life imprisonment in a murder case, was today permitted by the Supreme Court to visit Pakistan for a temporary stay, subject to certain conditions.

A bench of justices P Sathasivam and J Chelameswar said on May 10 that Chishti shall deposit his passport at the Indian High Commission in Pakistan and furnish as security Rs five lakh in cash within two weeks before the Supreme Court registry. The apex court directed that Chishti shall return to India by November one, as it has decided to expedite the hearing of the appeal filed by him challenging his conviction in a murder case in Rajasthan.

The apex court said it will hear the appeal proceedings from November 20. Initially, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Mohan Parasaran had insisted that Chishti's local contacts in India should give a surety on his behalf to secure his presence during the appeal proceedings. However, the bench refrained from imposing any such condition.

The bench further clarified that Chishti's release is subject to the fulfillment of the two conditions imposed upon him. Earlier on May 4, the Supreme Court had agreed to hear Chishti's plea to visit his country and had sought the Centre's response to it. Chishti had been granted bail by the apex court on April 9.

Held guilty in a 20-year-old murder case, he had been serving a life term in a Rajasthan's Ajmer jail. The apex court had granted bail to Chishti on humanitarian grounds, but had asked him not to leave Ajmer till further orders. 

PTI

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