The central government wants him to do it, the Rajasthan government wants him to do it, but Rajasthan’s acting Governor Shivraj Patil wouldn’t sign on a file for several months now. His obstinacy could become a major hurdle for many Indians and Pakistanis lodged in each others’ prisons.
In an unusual order, the Supreme Court of India quoted William Shakespeare and Faiz Ahmed ‘Faiz’ to directly appeal to the government of Pakistan to pardon and release Indian prisoner Gopal Das. Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari signed the papers within 16 days, ahead of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s visit to Mohali to witness the cricket world cup semi-final with his Indian counterpart. On 7 April, Gopal Das crossed into India. There were those in Pakistan who had opposed his release, arguing he had a few months left to complete his sentence, and that he should not be shown mercy because he had been found guilty in 1984 by a Pakistani military court on charges of being a an Indian spy. He and his family claimed this was not true, and wanted him pardoned because now 52, he had spent the last 27 years in several Pakistani prisons. Continue reading The inter-connected destinies of strangers across an international border
Ram Kumar died of cancer in Jaipur Central Jail, waiting for the Governor to grant him mercy and Dr. Khalil Chishty waits in Ajmer Jail while his file sits with the Governor for several weeks now!
The Governor of Rajasthan Sh. Shivraj Patil’s attitude towards exercising his powers of granting mercy to convicted prisoners is absolutely negative. Article 161 of the Constitution of India confers “on the Governor of a State the right to grant pardons, remissions, reprieves or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the State extends.” Continue reading Shivraj Patil hath no mercy! Why could he not pardon an old, ailing Ram Kumar?: PUCL
Guest post by KAVITA SRIVASTAVA
Pardon and or Remission of Punishment for Pakistani prisoner Dr. Khaleel Chishty under Article 161 of the Constitution of India by the Governor of Rajasthan
This press release comes from KAVITA SRIVASTAVA of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties. It was released after a press conference in Ajmer on Friday, 18 November 2011
- Family appeals to Governor Shivraj Patil to sign the mercy petition of Dr. Khalil Chishty pardoning him at the earliest
- Government of Rajasthan grants perrmission to the family to meet Dr. Chishty in Jail
- PUCL states that the case of mercy petition of Dr. Chishty is robust and the Governor this time round must use his powers under Article 161 of the Constitution of India Continue reading Dr Khaleel Chishty’s family in Ajmer to appeal for his release: Kavita Srivastava
Justice Markandey Katju, who has upon retirement just been appointed head of the Press Council of India, today addressed the media at his residence in Delhi. Towards the end of his speech, he said:
Before I conclude, I once again repeat my appeal to the Indian Government through the Prime Minister to release Dr Khaleel Chishty who is in Ajmer Jail. He is 80 years old and has not very long to live. He was an eminent virologist in Karachi Medical College and was a PhD from Edinburgh University. He is a heart patient and has many other ailments also. He is unable to walk. In the name of humanity I appeal to the Indian Government to release him and allow him to get back to home in Karachi to his wife and daughter who live there. The Pakistan Government honoured my appeal and released Gopal Das from a Pakistani jail. I am sad that the Indian Government has not yet honoured my appeal made several months ago to the Hon’ble Prime Minister, the Hon’ble Home Minister, and His Excellency the Governor of Rajasthan. In my opinion, the prestige of our country will be invreased if Dr. Chishty is released, whereas if he dies in jail, we will be disgraced. Continue reading Gopal Das is free, Khaleel Chishty is not
An elderly, bed-ridden man sentenced to life imprisonment in an ‘enemy’ country for a murder he didn’t commit awaits the signature on his clemency petition. By Beena Sarwar and Shivam Vij
Human rights activists in India are renewing their efforts for the release of the elderly Pakistani prisoner Dr Khalil Chishty lodged in Ajmer prison hospital, whose mercy petition awaits just one signature from the Rajasthan Governor Shivraj Patil. The mercy petition had earlier been approved by the state government and had reached Patil in June this year. At that point, it was expected that Dr Chishty, 78, a renowned virologist bed-ridden with various illnesses in jail, would soon be released.
Instead, Governor Patil raised a set of questions for the state government to answer. The Rajasthan government has answered all the queries, but has not submitted the file to the Governor again – perhaps because, according to sources, the Governor has already indicated that he will not sign the petition. Continue reading Bring Dr Chishty home – alive