NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to 80-year-old Pakistani scientist Mohammed Khalil Chisti, currently serving life term in an Ajmer jail.
Chisti is a microbiologist and had come to visit his sick mother in Ajmer, in 1992. He got involved in a dispute and in the ensuring scuffle, one of his neighbours was shot dead and his nephew suffered injuries.
A Bench comprising Justice P Sathasivam and Justice J Chelameswar granted him bail on humanitarian grounds, also considering his old age and that he has been in India since 1992.
Born in Ajmer into a prosperous family of caretakers of the Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti shrine, Chisti was studying in Pakistan at the time of partition and chose to stay on there.
“We are satisfied that a case is made out for enlargement on bail,” the Bench remarked. The Bench also agreed to hear his plea to return to Karachi and asked him to file a separate application in this regard. “File another application and mention that you want to go to your native country; we will consider,” the Bench told senior counsel U U Lalit, who appeared for Chisti.
Lalit requested the Bench that Chisti be allowed to live in Delhi. But, this was opposed by the counsel for Rajasthan saying that the visa issued to Chisti permitted his stay in Ajmer and nearby areas only. To this, the Bench asked Chisti not to leave Ajmer till further orders. The Bench referred to Zardari’s visit and said, “Let us hope what happened yesterday would continue. What we have read from today’s newspapers is that good things are happening.” Justice Sathasivam added, “If Chisti has not surrendered his passport, then he has to do so.”
An Ajmer Sessions Court held Chisti guilty on January 31, after a prolonged trial that went on for 18 years, and awarded him life sentence. Chisti was earlier granted bail by a sessions court during the trial but was ordered not to leave Ajmer. He was re-arrested after his conviction.