Eighty-year-old ailing microbiologist from Pakistan, Mohammad Khalil Chisty, convicted to life in a two-decade old murder case, was on Monday granted bail by the Supreme Court on humanitarian ground.
Chisty's release order comes a day after Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's visit during which the octogenarian's incarceration was reportedly raised.
Referring to reports of Zardari's visit, the bench of Justice P Sathasivam and Justice J Chelameswar observed: "Let us hope what has happened yesterday will continue. What we have read from today's newspapers is that good things are happening."
An eminent professor of virology in Karachi Medical College, Chisty a PhD holder from Edinburgh University suffers from heart and hearing ailment. He had come to visit his ailing mother in Ajmer in 1992 when he was booked for the murder of one of his neighbours.His case came to light when then sitting Supreme Court judge Justice Markandeya Katju wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging Chisty be pardoned and released.
"We are satisfied that a case is made out for enlargement on bail," the SC said, while giving him bail until the Rajasthan high court decided on his appeal against his conviction.
It, however, did not allow his counsel’s request to permit Chisty to leave Ajmer and live in Delhi. His plea was also opposed by the Rajasthan counsel who said the visa issued to the professor allowed him to stay only in Ajmer. The apex court also asked Chisty to surrender his passport.
He has been allowed to file a separate plea requesting to be sent back to Karachi. "You file another application and then mention these things," SC said.