The Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to Pakistani microbiologist Mohammad Khalil Chisti, undergoing life imprisonment in the Ajmer jail in a murder case. It asked him to remain in Ajmer until further orders.

A Bench of Justices P. Sathasivam and J. Chelameswar granted bail on a special leave petition filed by Dr. Chisti against the Rajasthan High Court judgment upholding his conviction and life sentence awarded by the trial court.

Senior counsel U.U. Lalit, appearing for Dr. Chisti, submitted that the appellant was 80 years old and a resident of Karachi. He was in Ajmer for the last 20 years. The main prosecution witnesses, PW-4 and PW-5, did not attribute any specific overt act to the appellant and it was a case of free fight. Counsel prayed that Dr. Chisti be enlarged on bail.

But counsel for the State of Rajasthan submitted that the courts had relied upon evidence of PW-3 and in addition, he being a Pakistani national, it was not desirable to release him on bail at this juncture.

When the Bench was inclined to grant bail, Mr. Lalit said Dr. Chisti might be permitted to stay in Delhi after his release on bail and he should also be sent to Karachi. Counsel for the State objected to this plea and said Dr. Chisti's visa was restricted to Ajmer.

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