Life imprisonment for Dr Chishti upheld

Published: December 21, 2011
Dr Chisty is serving a life term, handed to him in 2010 after spending 18 years in prison during the trial. PHOTO: FILE

Dr Chisty is serving a life term, handed to him in 2010 after spending 18 years in prison during the trial. PHOTO: FILE

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.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • khalis
    Dec 20, 2011 - 10:58PM

    as an Indian, im not feeling good.
    this guy is suffering too much in jail and may be jail staff is also facing too much of difficulty in handling him. why not release him.
    they are showing too much rigidity


  • Dec 20, 2011 - 11:20PM

    Vienna,December 20,2011
    That right apart, a bit patience is called for giving a chance to
    the Governor to apply his mind.How long it takes for the Pakistani
    system to reciprocate India with Most Favoured Nation Status,
    MFNS for own gain? I have read a long weekend article in The
    “partner” The New York Times last week saying that as a rule
    Pakistani individual 50% irrational and 50% emotional to make
    an average educated Individual. I tend to agree with the former
    editor´s judgment.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Baalakrishna


  • ProudPakistani
    Dec 20, 2011 - 11:26PM

    Afridi was right…
    We have place for them in our heart but they haven’t..We release their prisoners, infact we save stranded indians where even their own govt. fail to reach…& sadly enough We want peace & they want in contrast…


  • RajX
    Dec 21, 2011 - 12:22AM

    @ProudPakistani: You seem to live in a world enveloped by delusions and undisturbed by facts. Was the Mumbai attacks the way for Pakistan to show that they have a place for India in their hearts? Was allowing the known leaders of that attack to walk around free and call for more attacks on India also a loving act?

    Love between India and Pakistan is not needed for peace. What is needed is lack of hatred. And if Pakistan is serious about that, they should first start with reforming their school text books which treat hatred against India and your ancestors religion.


  • You Said It
    Dec 21, 2011 - 12:31AM

    Chishty should not be released until Pakistan reciprocates by releasing Sarabjit Singh.

    You are deluded. India releases far more Pakistani prisoners than vice versa. Just look at the number of fishermen in the other country’s jails. In India, at least a number of human rights activists have appealed for Pakistani Chishty’s release. So called patriots like you in Pakistan, have been braying for Sarabjit’s death. Afridi’s comment was petty and so are you.


  • Thomas
    Dec 21, 2011 - 1:03AM


    When one commit murder, he or she has to be punished. Old age and sickness doesn’t come to play in a court of law. The politician’s opinion doesn’t matter and law takes precedence. Court has decided that he is guilty and he must pay the piper, as simple as that.


  • Chaitanya Senapathi
    Dec 21, 2011 - 1:49AM

    There should be a correction in the article….he has not been in jail for 17 yrs , but has had bail for I believe 15yrs , making it impossible for him even leave the city .


  • Deb
    Dec 21, 2011 - 3:44AM

    I hang my head in shame and I am an Indian.


  • Samir
    Dec 21, 2011 - 5:23AM

    @ProudPakistani – you make us look like fools in the way Afridi did. The statistics show that India has been far more generous in prisoner releases.

    We need to realize that we can be Proud of being Pakistani yet still understand our country’s problems and mistakes. That is the only way to be a truly proud Pakistani. Deluding ourselves is hurtful to ourselves and our country.


  • Kevin Fernandes
    Dec 21, 2011 - 5:24AM

    This report is factually incorrect in its claim that Mr. Chishty was imprisoned for last 19 years.He was living in Ajmer all this time on bail with restrictions on his movement outside the city.It was only early this year that he was convicted by the trial court and lodged in the jail hospital.
    But since he has spend a good part of his life as an under-trial and also because of his physical difficulties due to old age, I as an Indian hopes and wishes that he be pardoned on humanitarian ground.


  • Hu Jintao
    Dec 21, 2011 - 6:15AM

    @You Said It:
    in your wet-wish. to release a spy who had in convicted for bomb blasts in 90’s for a simple individual is outrageous.

    Thank us we let go spy kashmir singh with honor. Recommend

  • Alok
    Dec 21, 2011 - 7:56AM

    Do these bleading hearts know and care about Sarabjit? An Indian is being framed in Pakistan to be hanged for a crime he did not commit and we are talking of pardoning a convicted murderer, who should’ve got a death penalty. His old age (over 60yrs) did not stop him from commiting the murder, so why should his age be considered while surving the punishment for his crime?


  • Dec 21, 2011 - 8:13AM


    In India NGOs and Humanitarian groups have the freedom to speak their mind. One would be killed for speaking for the minorities in Pakistan. Just this year alone 2 people were killed, both Ministers.

    In terms of freedom and fairness its an insult to compare India with Pakistan, a Country considered to be on the brink of failure.


  • rk
    Dec 21, 2011 - 9:07AM

    sorry dude.Rules….


  • You Said It
    Dec 21, 2011 - 9:51AM

    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.


  • Malatesh
    Dec 21, 2011 - 10:06AM


    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.


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