The Supreme Court on Monday indicated that Pakistani microbiologist Mohammed Khalil Chisti,awarded life term in a 20-year-old murder case,could be allowed to visit his country temporarily. Chisti,presently in Ajmer after the Supreme Court granted him bail on April 9,has already spent over a year at Ajmer Central Jail.
Give me an opportunity to go and I will come back, senior advocate U U Lalit,representing Chisti,spoke for the 82-year-old before a Bench of Justices P Sathasivam and J Chelameswar in the Supreme Court on Monday.
The Bench expressed inclination to agree with Chisti,saying he was no terrorist but an elderly man who wants to visit his family in Pakistan. It asked the Centre to consult the Union Home Ministry and get back to the court on why Chisti cannot be permitted a visit to Pakistan.
I will abide by all the conditions imposed by the court on me. I have not visited my family there in 20 years, Lalit opened his submissions in court.
To this,Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran,for the Centre,said Chisti should remain in India. What guarantee is there that he will come back. Pakistan has no extradition treaty with India, Parasaran responded.
But the Bench intervened,saying it is willing to consider Chistis application. Merely because he is a Pakistani,can we treat him differently? We can understand if you say he has links with some terrorist organisation, Justice Sathasivam heading the Bench observed and posted the matter for further hearing to Thursday.
On May 4,the apex court had agreed to hear Chistis plea to visit his country and had sought Centres response to it.