This note comes from KAVITA SRIVASTAVA of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties
Dr. Khaleel Chishty, the 78 year old a renowned Virologist from Pakistan, will now go home very soon. A process that began on the 20th of April, 2011 will finally conclude at the Rajasthan end two months later precisely on the 20th of June, with the Governor signing the mercy petition that will let him go, once the MEA give their stamp.
As you are aware Dr. Chishty was sentenced for life for allegedly being an accomplice in a murder case in Ajmer, which was false. The sentencing happened after 19 years on 31st January, 2011. In this period of 19 years, Dr. Chishty never went home to Karachi in Pakistan, lived a life of a desolate in a farm as he was out on bail and could not leave the country. After the decision of the protracted trial, he was arrested and was moved to the Ajmer Central Jail, it may be known that Dr. Chishty is a paraplegic, with a history of repeated heart attacks. He applied for relief of suspension of sentence from the Rajasthan High Court Jaipur, which was denied to him, simply because he had not served, enough time in Jail, although all the others convicted in the same case had their sentence suspended. Actually, the covert reason which was the comment made by the judge was that how could a Pakistani be granted suspension of sentence, not seeing the tragedy of his life, his health.
Dr. Chishty who is 78 years old, suffered several heart attacks and a hip bone fracture found himself in Ajmer with an absolute bleak future, perhaps never to go home. A campaign of several journalists, judges, lawyers and acitivists, began in April this month in both countries, to get Dr. Chishty out of the country, after being granted mercy at the India level.
This is how the chronology of events happened to get him released.
20th April: A PUCL, Rajasthan delegation consisting of myself Radha Kant Saxena and Dr. Chishty’s brother from Ajmer, Jamil Chishty gave a memo to Home Secretary requesting him to begin the proceedings of granting mercy petition to Dr. Khaleel Chishty.- see attachment for all the details of Dr. Chishty’s case. It may be known that the first step is the Home Department asking the Jail authorities to send the papers including an application by Dr. Chishty requesting mercy. The home department sets the bal rolling.
22nd April: A memo was also sent to the Governor by the PUCL, Rajasthan requesting pardon for Dr. Chishty or the remission under Article 161 of the Indian Consitution.
25th April: Renowned film maker Sh. Mahesh Bhatt and senior journalist Sh. Kuldip Nayar meet Governor of Punjab and Rajsathan Sh. Shivraj Patil in Chandigarh, he assured them that he would try his best.
23rd or 24th May: File of Dr. Chishty arrives from Central Ajmer level, with all the papers needed including NOC and good character from Collector, SP and a letter by Dr. Chishty himself requesting mercy from the Governor, Medical report, case papers, all this came through the Jail authorities to Home Secretary in Jaipur through the DG Jails, Omendra Bharadwaj. .
27th May : After whetting the files by the concerned Deputy Secretary, in the Home Department the file reaches the Home Secretary.
30th May, Home Secretary moves his note to the Chief Secretary, Sh. S Ahmed, from where it went to the Home Minister of Rajasthan Sh. Shanti Dhariwal.
7th June, the file reached the Chief Mnister, Rajasthan, Sh, Ashok Gehlot
16th June: Pakistan Supreme Court appeals to its Indian Counter part and the PM to intervene and release Dr. Chishty on humanitarian grounds.
16th June, Justice Markandey Katju writes to PM in his individual capacity for the early release of Dr. Chishty on Humanitarian grounds.17th June CM signed the petition.
19th or 20th June the Governor will sign the file.
20th – 21st June File will return to the Home Department and from there it will be sent to Home Ministry, Union of India and MEA.