Apex court hints Pakistani virologist may get relief
New Delhi, May 7 (IANS) The government Monday resisted convicted Pakistani Mohammad Khalil Chisty's plea seeking permission to travel to his country but the Supreme Court indicated that it may grant conditional relief to the virologist who was earlier granted bail in a 20-year-old murder case in India.
An apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J. Chelameswar asked Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran to seek instructions from the home and foreign affairs ministries on the conditions that could be imposed on Chisty to secure his return for his presence before it in proceedings wherein he has challenged his conviction and sentencing in the murder case.
The court also said as a special case, it would expedite Chisty's appeal against the awarding of life imprisonment and hear the matter in October or November.
Chisty was awarded life imprisonment for the death of a person in a brawl when he was visiting Rajasthan's Ajmer city in April 1992. He was granted bail by the apex court April 9 which asked him to make a separate plea for permission to visit Pakistan.
While leaving nothing to doubt about its inclination, the court said Chisty had no previous criminal record and was in India for at least 20 years without seeing his children and grandchildren growing.
Noting that Chisty was an eminent scientist of global recognition, the court observed that he could not be treated differently merely because he was a Pakistani national.
Unable to accept the central government's resistance to grant Chisty's plea to go to Karachi, the court observed that it could have understood the government's stand if it's case was that the virologist had connection with some terrorist outfits.
The court would next hear the matter May 10.
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