The Rajasthan high court on Tuesday dismissed 80-year-old Pakistani virologist Dr Khalil Chishty’s plea challenging the life imprisonment awarded to him in a murder case.
Rejecting his plea for acquittal on humanitarian grounds, a division bench comprising justice RS Rathore and justice SS Kothari upheld his conviction by a trial court in Ajmer.
The court had held him guilty of the murder of one Idrish in a family property dispute at Ajmer on April 14, 1992. Chishty was on bail during the 19-year-long trial — during which he was not allowed to leave India — but was arrested and sent to Ajmer jail after being convicted on January 31.
Chishty’s counsel RK Mathur said he had come to India for a marriage and was staying at his father’s house in Ajmer. Some persons had trespassed and attacked some of his family members. During the scuffle, one of the trespassers was shot dead for which Chishty and his family members were prosecuted. Mathur argued Chishty had not injured the deceased.
People’s Union for Civil Liberties state general secretary Kavita Srivastava said, “As soon as the Supreme Court opens, we will file an appeal on behalf of Dr Khalil Chishty.”
In June, SC judge justice Markandey Katju (now retired) had appealed in his personal capacity to the Prime Minister for Chishty’s release on humanitarian grounds.