NEW DELHI, Dec 12: India’s top court on  quashed the murder conviction of an 82-year-old Pakistani who spent 20 years in jail and allowed him to return home.

Khalil Chishti, a microbiologist, was arrested and charged with murder in 1992 after a brawl in the western Indian city of Ajmer which he was visiting for a family wedding. He was convicted in 2010 by a local court and given a life sentence.

After freeing him on bail last year on account of his age, the Supreme Court quashed the murder charge but upheld a conviction for voluntarily causing hurt, the Press Trust of India reported.

The verdict ordered authorities to return his passport.

President Asif Ali Zardari had raised the case during his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh earlier this year.

The court’s decision is a boost to the so-called confidence-building measures between the two countries and comes a day ahead of a visit to India by Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

At least 250 Pakistani nationals are languishing in Indian jails, a few for almost half a century.—AFP

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