SC acquits Pakistani scientist Dr Khalil Chishti of murder charge, allows him to return home

Source : PTI
Last Updated: Wed, Dec 12, 2012 09:04 hrs
Khalil Chishty lands in Pakistan

New Delhi: Pakistani microbiologist Mohammed Khalil Chishti was on Wednesday acquitted by the Supreme Court of the murder charge in a 20-year-old criminal case and was allowed to return home without any restriction.

However, the apex court declined to interfere with his conviction for voluntarily causing hurt under section 324 of the Indian Penal Code and served him with the sentence already undergone by him in prison.

A bench of justices P Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi noted that 82-year-old Chishti was in the jail for almost one year during his stay in the country and "ends of justice will be met by serving him with the period of imprisonment already undergone".

While clearing him of the murder charge, the bench said there was no scope for applying section 34 of the IPC which deals with the offence of common intention.

The bench directed the authorities to return to Chishti all documents including his passport and said he was free to return to Pakistan without any restriction.

The bench, which considered the age and qualification of Chishti, directed the authorities to take all possible steps for his "smooth return" home.

The bench also referred to its May 10 order and said since no further proceeding is required against him, the surety of Rs five lakh be released to him or his nominee.

On May 10, the apex court had asked Chishti to deposit his passport and furnish as security Rs five lakh in cash within two weeks before the Supreme Court registry.

The other two accused in the case were also held guilty only under section 324 of IPC and were directed to be released forthwith. 

Pakistan should take up cases of Indians lodged there: Chishti

Acquitted by the Supreme Court in a 20-year-old criminal case, Pakistani microbiologist Mohammed Khalil Chishti on Wednesday said his country should deal with cases of Indians lodged in jails there in the same way.

"Just like the Supreme Court here has taken up my case (on humanitarian grounds), their cases (Indians jailed in Pakistan) should be dealt like that," 82-year-old Chishti told reporters when asked how Pakistan should deal with cases of Indians jailed there.

He also said that everyone's case should be dealt within the limits of the Constitution and the court.

Chishti was today acquitted by the Supreme Court of murder charge in a 20-year-old criminal case and allowed to return home without any restriction.

A bench of justices P Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi noted that 82-year-old Chishti was in jail for almost one year during his stay in the country and "ends of justice will be met by serving him with the period of imprisonment already undergone".

System is fair and effective: Khurshid

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday said such "gestures" could contribute to the "sense" between the two neighbours.

"We have to be pleased with the final judgement whether the judgement that convicts or judgement that acquits. I think we have to salute the system. The system is objective, fair, transparent and effective," he told reporters outside Parliament House.

Chishti was today acquitted by the Supreme Court of murder charge in a 20-year-old criminal case and was allowed to return to his native country without any restriction.

However, the apex court declined to interfere with his conviction for voluntarily causing hurt under section 324 of the Indian Penal Code and served him with the sentence already undergone by him in prison.

Asked whether the judgement would help promote goodwill between India and Pakistan, the Minister said, "There are little little gestures voluntary or involuntary... that can contribute to the sense between our two countries."

"... When something happens which can contribute to wholesome growth of friendly relationship, I think we should make more solid," he said.

Reacting to another question, he said, "quid pro quo is not a good word" that can be used in the matter as it is a "judicial adjudicated matter".

"I think if it helps move in a particular direction, we should welcome it," the Minister said.




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