"Let there be more such good news", the apex court commented
Monday on the bonhomie between India and Pakistan during the visit
of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to India, while granting
bail to Pakistani doctor Mohammad Khalil Chisti, who is undergoing
life imprisonment in an Ajmer jail for killing a man in 1992.
An apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J.
Chelameswar granted bail to Chisti, an 80-year-old virologist,
subject to conditions to be imposed by the trial court.
Granting bail to Chisti, the court while taking note of newspaper
reports on Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari's visit, expressed
hope that the bonhomie one got to see between India and Pakistan
in last two days may continue to hog media headlines in the days
"What has happened yesterday, it happens in the future also, and
is carried forward. There is good news in newspapers. Let there be
more such good news," said Justice Sathasivam in the course of the
Chisti's age and the long duration he has been in an Ajmer jail
following the killing weighed in his favour. The court also noted
that the main prosecution witnesses have testified that he was not
involved in the April 1992 brawl, which resulted in the death of
The court also asked senior counsel U.U. Lalit, appearing for
Chisti, to move a separate application for his client to go back
to his native place in Karachi. The court said this when Lalit
sought the court's direction for Chisti to go back to his country.
The Senior counsel Lalit's plea seeking direction so that Chisti
could come and stay in Delhi were objected to by Rajasthan
The state government counsel told the court that the Pakistani
doctor had visa only for Ajmer and could not move out of that
city. He said that any change in the status of Chisti's visa could
only be done by the central government as it involved diplomatic
Chisti, a virologist at the Karachi Medical College, had come to
Ajmer in 1992 to see his mother. He is accused of killing a man
during a brawl in April that year in Ajmer. He was in the city to
offer prayers at the dargah of Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin
Chisti when the incident happened.
Chisti was awarded life imprisonment in 2010 after the trial that
lasted 18 years. During this period he was on bail granted by the
session's court. His appeal challenging his conviction and
sentencing was rejected by the state high court.
The octogenarian, who has taught in different universities in
Europe and Africa, had suffered two heart attacks and fractured
his hip bones and needs assistance of others for doing his
essential day to day activities.
Earlier seeking the release of Chisti, the then judge of the apex
court and present Chairman, Press Council of India, Justice
Markandey Katju had written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh seeking his release.
Even though Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gahlot granted him
pardon, paving the way for his release and return to Pakistan, the
state Governor Shivraj Patil sent the chief minister's
recommendations to the law department, raising many queries and
the matter is still pending with governor's office.