–Sessions court summons detail of settlement in the case
KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Friday accepted for hearing the appeals challenging Sindh High Court’s (SHC) judgement in a case pertaining to the murder of Shahzeb Khan.
The appeals filed by members of the civil society, including rights activist Jibran Nasir, against the SHC’s decision that ordered a retrial in a sessions court while annulling the death penalty in the case.
A criminal review petition filed by Jatoi’s lawyer had argued that terrorism charges should be dropped as the prime suspect was a juvenile at the time of the offence.
The appeals filed by the civil society maintained that terrorism charges should not have been removed because the killing of Shahzeb Khan had “created a sense of helplessness and insecurity amongst the people of Defence/Clifton,” as a car chase and shootout took place on a public road in the densely populated area of Defence Housing Authority.
The case will be heard in the SC’s Karachi registry.
Separately, a sessions court hearing the Shahzeb Khan murder case summoned details of the out-of-court settlement reached between the families of convict Shahrukh Jatoi and the victim.
The court summoned details of the affidavit filed by the parents of Shahzeb Khan through which they pardoned the killers of their son. Key suspect Shahrukh Jatoi and other suspects also appeared before the court.
The judge sought details of the affidavit which the parents of the deceased had filed in the SHC, pardoning his killers.
The hearing of the case was adjourned till Jan 20 when the suspects would be provided copies of the case.
The court also summoned a log of the arguments made before the Sindh High Court (SHC) in the past.
On December 23, 2017, Shahrukh Jatoi, the son of an influential feudal, and other defendants in the Shahzeb Khan murder case were released from custody on bail after Shahzeb’s father submitted an affidavit in support of the defendant’s bail application.
Shahzeb Khan’s father, Aurangzeb Khan, had earlier asked the sessions court to not only release the four men earlier convicted of his son’s murder on bail, but also drop the case against them completely, arguing that his family had earlier pardoned his son’s killers.
Shahzeb was gunned down by Shahrukh Jatoi in a posh locality of Karachi on December 25, 2012. An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in 2013 had awarded death sentences to Shahrukh Jatoi and Siraj Talpur for the murder of Shahzeb, while life sentences were awarded to Sajjad Ali Talpur and Ghulam Murtaza Lashari.
However, on November 28, 2017, the murder case took a dramatic turn when the SHC ordered a retrial, striking down the death penalty awarded to the convicts by the ATC.
In its order, the SHC stated that an act of revenge over personal enmity did not equate to an act of terrorism.