KARACHI: The anti-terrorism court (ATC) dismissed the application seeking transfer of Shahzeb Khan’s murder case against four suspects to sessions court on Tuesday.
“The impact of the act of the accused persons on general public is of vital importance – not the intentions of the accused,” noted Judge Ghulam Mustafa Memon, while announcing the order which was reserved on February 28 after hearing arguments from the defence, prosecution and complainant.
Four suspects – Shahrukh Jatoi, his friends Nawaz Siraj Talpur and Nawab Sajjad Talpur, and their servant Ghulam Murtaza Lashari – are facing the charges of murdering Shahzeb Khan, son of a police officer, in Defence on December 25, 2012.
In its final charge-sheet, the police listed the four for murdering the ‘unarmed’ youth.
The defence lawyer objected to the jurisdiction of the anti-terrorism court, claiming that the alleged offence does not fall within the ambit of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.
Shaukat Zubedi, lawyer defending the main suspect Shahrukh Jatoi, argued that the FIR of the murder case registered on Dec 25, 2012 is silent in respect of element of terrorism in commission of crime. He went on to state that the complainant had not pointed out the motive behind the incident which subsequently resulted in Shahzeb’s murder. He claimed that the incident was neither pre-planned nor did it terrorise the society.
Faisal Siddiqui, the lawyer representing the complainant DSP Aurangzeb Khan, vigorously opposed the contention of the defense lawyer. “The sense of terrorism and insecurity is created by the act of accused,” he argued. He emphasised that the accused Gulam Murtaza Lashari, an employee of the perpetrator Siraj Talpur, had outraged Shahzeb’s sister and Aurangzeb.
The judge observed that it was very much clear that a sense of fear was created by the act of the accused. “The cumulative effect of my above discussion is that instant crime has nexus with section 6 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.”
The judge further noted that the offence had been committed with the objective to terrorise the section of the public and such act had explicitly created sense of fear in the society, therefore “this court is competent to try the accused of the said crime.”
The court will initiate trial from March 07.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 5th, 2013.