New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed Dr Khalil Chisty to visit Pakistan within two weeks of depositing Rs 5 lakh in the registry of the apex court. The court said that Dr Chisty will have to deposit his passport to the Indian consulate in Karachi upon his arrival in Pakistan. Dr Chisty will return back to India on November 1.
Earlier senior counsel UU Lalit had pleaded that Chisty be granted permission to visit Pakistan as a special case since he was suffering from various geriatric problems and was confined to Ajmer for the past 20 years and had served one-and-a-half year of his sentence.
He submitted that the court may impose any condition on Chisty for securing his return at the time of the hearing of his appeal, scheduled during October.
On May 4, the Supreme Court had agreed to hear Chisty's plea to visit his country and had sought Centre's response to it. Chisty had been granted bail by the apex court on April 9. Held guilty in a 20-year-old murder case, he had been serving life term in a Rajasthan's Ajmer jail.
The apex court had granted bail to Chisty on humanitarian grounds, considering his old age and the fact that he has been in India since 1992 after a murder case was lodged against him when he came to visit Ajmer to see his ailing mother.
Chisty had come to see his mother in 1992 when he got embroiled in a brawl, and, in the ensuing melee, one of his neighbours was shot dead while his nephew got injured.
Born in Ajmer to a prosperous family of caretakers of the Khwaja Moinuddin Chisty shrine, Chisty was studying in Pakistan at the time of partition in 1947 and chose to stay there.
The bench, which had granted bail to Chisty, had also acceded to consider his plea to let him return to Karachi and had asked him to file a separate application for it. The same was filed later.
An eminent professor of virology in Karachi Medical College, Chisti holds a PhD from Edinburgh University.
(With additional inputs from PTI)