Shahzeb’s family goes to high court against prosecutor’s replacement

Published: March 19, 2013

Shahzeb Khan. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Shahzeb Khan’s family went to the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday to express their reservations over the replacement of the special public prosecutor.

The trial was so far being pursued in the Anti-Terrorism Courts. During this time neither the court nor anyone else raised objections about the former prosecutor, Shahid Arain, said the petitioners, Ambreen Khan and DSP Aurangzeb Khan, who are the parents of the 20-year-old victim.

The deputy district prosecutor, Muzaffar Solangi, has replaced Arain.  The parents filed a criminal miscellaneous application. At the crucial stage when evidence is being recorded, law secretary Ghulam Nabi replaced Arain on March 14, they said. The parents argued that the police officer investigating the case, Muhammad Mobin, has also objected to the government’s act. They claimed that the investigation officer in his letter had also informed the trial court that the accused persons were behind this sudden transfer. They pleaded the court to reinstate Arain.

Also on the agenda

The bench, headed by Justice Maqbool Baqar, was also hearing a petition filed by the accused Shahrukh Jatoi, who challenged a medical board report that declared him an adult. The family’s application against the lawyer’s replacement was filed in the same case. The judges observed that since the complainant was actively participating in the trial, it would be just and fair to implead him in Shahrukh’s petition.

The bench also issued notices to the law secretary, prosecutor general, advocate general for April 5. Jatoi, whom police listed as the prime suspect, went to the high court seeking a separate trial and other legal concessions for being a minor. His lawyer, Akhtar Hussain, claimed that Jatoi has been falsely implicated in the case. He insisted that Shahrukh is a minor and was born on November 27, 1995. “So, he must be tried separately from the adult co-accused,” he said.

To support these claims, Shahrukh submitted a B-form of his father, Sikandar Jatoi, issued by the National Database Registration Authority along with his birth records from Aitchison College, Lahore, and birth certificates issued by Khan Clinic, where he was born. All these documents show he was born on November 27, 1995.

They also challenged the report filed by the medical board through an ossification test that declared Jatoi was above 19 and below 20.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2013.

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