KARACHI: The Malir judicial magistrate on Monday requested for the jail record of Shahrukh Jatoi, the primary suspect in the Shazeb Khan murder case.
The judge issued orders of production of the suspect, as the hearing of the primary suspect reportedly travelling out of the country on fraudulent documents resumed.
Jatoi’s counsel told the court that his client is in jail on the Supreme Court’s orders to which record form the jail authorities were summoned by the court. The court then summoned a report from the jail authorities.
On Saturday, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar came down hard on doctors who had prepared a medical report for Shahrukh Jatoi, the prime suspect in the Shahzeb Khan murder case.
Hours later, he also ordered former provincial minister Sharjeel Inam Memon to be returned to jail from a medical facility he was being kept in. An accountability court in Karachi had on Thursday indicted Memon and 11 others in a corruption case pertaining to the award of advertisements at ‘exorbitant rates’ through the abuse of power.
The CJP began the hearing of the suo motu case at the Supreme Court’s Karachi Registry. Inspector General (IG) Jails Nusrat Mangan informed the court he ordered the transfer of Jatoi from jail to the hospital at the behest of the jail administration.
CJP Nisar also inquired if Jatoi had heart problems, and demanded a full report from the authorities. Mangan read out Jatoi’s report to the court.
Justice Nisar, while expressing anger over Jinnah hospital’s operations, asked if any surgery was conducted on Jatoi. He also directed the formation of a board comprising doctors from Punjab to investigate.
“Is the law only for the poor?” he questioned during the hearing.
The CJP also questioned how many prisoners from Sindh were being kept in hospitals, and demanded a full report from jail authorities to be submitted on Sunday regarding the issue. The report should also include a list of all prisoners that have been transferred from jails to hospitals.
Justice Nisar had last week taken notice of Jatoi’s shifting to the JPMC from Karachi’s Central Jail following an alleged deterioration in his medical condition just a week after the SC set aside bail granted to him by the Sindh High Court.
Jatoi was among three accused in the Shahzeb Khan murder case — Siraj Talpur and Sajjad Talpur being the other two — who had been arrested after the SC revoked their bails earlier this month. The fourth accused, Ghulam Murtaza Lashari, a servant of the Talpurs, had already been in jail.
The three accused, who were arrested from the apex court’s premises in Islamabad earlier this month, were later brought to Karachi.
Before he was released on bail in December 2017, Jatoi had spent nearly two-and-a-half months at JPMC, where he was reportedly “undergoing treatment”. The hospital had been declared a sub-jail for the murder accused.
The SHC had in November 2017 set aside punishments awarded to the accused by an anti-terrorism court while ordering a retrial of the case in a sessions court. The order was passed after considering a review petition filed by one of the defendants’ lawyers. The lawyer had argued that terrorism charges should be dropped from the case as the prime suspect was a juvenile at the time of the crime.
Following the SHC’s decision, civil rights activists had moved the SC submitting that the gruesome murder of the university student had spread terror and created fear, panic, helplessness and insecurity among people residing in the DHA and Clifton areas, as well as the public in general of Karachi and Pakistan.
“Hundreds of people had come out on the streets demanding justice for the deceased on the grounds that the same could happen to their children also. This is because such unfortunate incidents are prevalent in our society,” said the applicants.
They had recalled that the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) had also dismissed the accused persons’ plea seeking transfer of the case to the sessions court in March 2013. The SHC had also earlier upheld the ATC order on the transfer plea and ruled: “We, therefore, hold that act of accused Shah Rukh Jatoi created a sense of helplessness and insecurity amongst the people of the vicinity and did destabilise the public at large.”
The applicants said that as such, provisions of Section 6 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 are fully justified in being applied to this case. Therefore, the present case should fall within the jurisdiction of an Anti-Terrorism Court.
On December 23, 2017, 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 was gunned down by Jatoi in a posh locality of Karachi on December 25, 2012.
An ATC in 2013 had awarded death sentences to Jatoi and Siraj Talpur for the murder of Shahzeb, while life sentences were awarded to Sajjad Ali Talpur and Ghulam Murtaza Lashari.