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PM writes to Home Minister on Pakistani prisoner

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked Home Minister P. Chidambaram to examine if the request of Supreme Court Judge Justice Markandey Katju, seeking pardon for Pakistani doctor Mohammed Khalil Chishty, could be considered on “humanitarian” grounds.

The Prime Minister has forwarded Justice Katju's letter to the Home Minister.

“I shall be grateful if you could examine the request of Justice Katju to see if a pardon to Dr. Khalil Chishty could be considered on humanitarian grounds,” Dr. Singh wrote to Mr. Chidambaram.

Justice Katju, in his individual capacity, had made a “personal” appeal to Dr. Singh to release the 80-year-old Pakistani virologist on “humanitarian grounds.” He has been lodged in Rajasthan's Ajmer Central Jail since 1992 in a murder case in which he was given life sentence.

Dr. Singh's intervention came a day after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot cleared the mercy petition of the prisoner.

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