Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition asking it to request India to free Khaleel Chishti, an educationist who is in an Indian jail for nearly 20 years in a murder case, after the foreign ministry said it was pursuing the matter with New Delhi.
A three-judge bench headed by chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry dismissed the petition filed by Iqbal Haider, counsel for Chishti's daughter Shoa Jawaid, after receiving a report from the foreign ministry.
In its order, the bench said the issue pertained to a foreign country that is sovereign and beyond the apex court's jurisdiction.
The order noted that the foreign office has already been making efforts to free 78-year-old Chishti.
However, the bench said it expected the authorities concerned to take up the issue with the Indian government in accordance with relevant rules and protocols.
The chief justice told Haider that the apex court had no jurisdiction over a foreign country.
"Please do not make mockery of the court with a request to pass such an order. We have to remain within our domain. We have to strictly maintain the dignity and sanctity of this court," he said.
Haider said his client only wanted the court to make a request to the Indian government similar to the one made by India's Supreme Court to the Pakistani leadership that resulted in the release of Gopal Das, an Indian national whose sentence was remitted by President Asif Ali Zardari.
But the chief justice told Haider that it was not possible for the bench to do so under the Supreme Court's rules.
"The foreign office was already dealing with the issue and we appreciate their efforts," he added.
As Chishti was a convict indicted by an Indian court, he advised Haider to take up the issue in an Indian High Court by making contact with Indian lawyers.