Pakistani prisoner may be released

July 27th, 2011 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Shivraj Patil Jaipur, July 27 (IANS) Mohammad Khalil Chishty, the 80-year-old Pakistani citizen who is serving life sentence in an Ajmer jail, can be freed if his release is considered on humanitarian grounds, informed sources said Wednesday.

Sources in Rajasthan government’s law department told IANS that state’s Governor Shivraj Patil had last month sent a questionnaire to the home department on various issues related to the case.

“The file has now been forwarded to the (state’s Home Minister) Shani Dhariwal for final clearance. If he clears the file, which is very likely, it will be completely up to the governor to take a call on the matter,” an official said.

Chishty, a virologist in Karachi Medical College, and some others are accused of killing a man during a fight in April 1992, when Chishty was on a visit to Ajmer for offering prayers at the famous dargah (shrine) of Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisty.

He was awarded life imprisonment in January this year after an 18-year long trial.

Chishty had moved the Rajasthan High Court against the lower court’s verdict, but his bail application was turned down.

Supreme Court Justice Markandeya Katju recently requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to release Chishty on “humanitarian grounds”.

Acting on Justice Katju’s appeal, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot approved the mercy plea of Chishty and sent it to the governor for final clearance.

Some prominent non-government organisations and social activists too are supporting Chishty’s release.

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