NEW DELHI: The Indian Supreme Court has granted interim bail to 80-year-old Pakistani microbiologist Khalil Chisti during the pendency of his appeal against Rajasthan High Court order upholding his conviction in a murder case.
Dr Chisti had applied for bail on the ground that he is 80 years old and has already been in prison for the last 20 years.
Dr Chisti pleaded before court that he be allowed to return to his home town Karachi or be allowed to live in Delhi because of vitiated family atmosphere in Ajmer.
Supreme Court asked him to surrender his passport and allowed him to file a fresh application.
The court has asked Dr Chisti to remain in Ajmer till further orders.
The Pakistani doctor was given a life term on January 31, 2011 by a trial court for a murder in Ajmer in 1992. The doctor, born in Ajmer to a prosperous family of caretakers of the Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti shrine, was studying in Pakistan at the time of partition in 1947.
He didn’t return to his family in Ajmer till he came to visit his ailing mother in 1992. Chishti allegedly killed a man after a fight over some dispute.
According to sources, the issue of Khalil Chisti figured during the lunch hosted by India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for Pakistan President Asif Zardari.
It is learnt that Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik referred to the issue during his interaction with Home Minister P Chidambaram.