Life imprisonment for Dr Chishti upheld

Family and lawyers of Dr Chisthi have the right to appeal in the Supreme Court.

Aditi Phadnis December 21, 2011

NEW DELHI: An Indian court has rejected a plea by 85-year-old Dr Syed Muhammad Khalil Chishti for his acquittal in a murder case for which he has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

In a blow that the Chishty family and the retired virologist will find it hard to recover from, the Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday upheld his life imprisonment.

Many sets of civil activists, led by National Advisory Council member Aruna Roy and other NGOs had asked the court to show mercy. The Indian government had also recommended the release to the chief minister of Rajasthan who had processed the mercy petition in a matter of hours and sent it to Governor Shivraj patil. However, the petition is still pending with the governor.

The governor has the power of remission of sentence under article 161 of the Indian Constitution.

Former Indian Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju had also written to the prime minister, seeking the government’s intervention in the matter. Katju, who is now the chairman of the Press council of India, had, in interviews and conversations, sought to create a climate of opinion in favour of mercy to the old and ailing Pakistani.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st, 2011.


Malatesh | 11 years ago | Reply


Do you think that Ajmal Kasab should also be released on humanitarian grounds after 17years of imprisonment?

If you go on releasing all the criminals like this on mercy petitions then crime will not reduce.

One has to look at the intensity of crime he did before commenting on mercy petition.

If any indian is in Pakistani jail for very serious crime then Pakistan also should rethink before releasing him on humanitarian grounds.

You Said It | 11 years ago | Reply

Just because Khalil Chishty is 80 years old doesn't mean he shouldn't serve his sentence. He shot dead an unarmed man over an argument.

Where is the sympathy for Idris Chishty, the cousin whom Khalil killed? What about Idris's wife and children -- don't they deserve justice? Just because there is no cross-border drama in the case of Idris - who was a resident of Ajmer and was killed in Ajmer -- we don't have useless NGO workers crawling out of the woodwork to plead his side of the story.

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