SHC orders fresh trial in Shahzeb Khan murder case

Published: November 28, 2017
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Shahrukh Jatoi. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS/FILE

Shahrukh Jatoi. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS/FILE

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday set aside the capital punishment awarded to Shahrukh Jatoi and one of his accomplices in the famous Shahzeb Khan’s murder case and referred the case back to a sessions court for retrial.

In August 2013, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Karachi handed down death sentence to Jatoi and Nawab Siraj Talpur for killing Shahzeb Khan on the night of December 24, 2012 when Shahzeb was returning home along with his sister after attending a wedding.

The ATC had also awarded life imprisonment to Jatoi’s accomplices – Sajjad Talpur and his servant Ghulam Murtaza Lashari. Later, Jatoi and others had challenged their conviction in the SHC.

The SHC held several rounds of proceedings to review Jatoi’s application for retrial by a juvenile court, his compromise with the victim’s family, the appeals of the other defendants and a reference sent by the ATC seeking confirmation of sentences.

Farooq H Naek, who represented Jatoi, argued that the convict was a juvenile at the time of crime and, therefore, his case should not have been tried by an ATC. He claimed that the murder was a result of personal enmity and pleaded the high court to order retrial of the case by a sessions court.

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After conclusion of the arguments, the two-judge SHC bench, headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar, on Tuesday set aside the ATC’s judgment and remanded the case back to the sessions court for retrial.

“We find that this was a case of personal vendetta; hence Section 6 of the Anti-Terrorism Act was misapplied by the police as well cognizance and trial was not proper,” ruled the bench in its judgment.

In his plea, Jatoi had also mentioned of the compromise struck with the victim’s legal heirs. In the compromise, Shahzeb Khan’s family had said they had pardoned Jatoi without accepting blood money.

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With regard to the compromise, the SHC ruled: “The trial court will be competent to decide the compromise application within four months within the four corners of law; as well as any other application before the trial court.”

However, the judges dismissed the criminal revision application of Jatoi, seeking his trial by the juvenile court under the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance, 2000. The court also answered in the negative the reference sent by the ATC’s judge for sentences’ confirmation.

Shahzeb Khan’s killing had sparked a debate on whether the country’s elite could be held accountable for crimes they commit. The murder was followed by protests of civil society members that prompted the then chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take suo motu notice of the incident.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • israr
    Nov 28, 2017 - 1:26PM

    i do not get it , he killed him he must be punished, what u r doing by delaying is sending a clear message to everyone, u can kill and still can live for the rest of ur life in luxuryRecommend

  • Zohaib
    Nov 28, 2017 - 1:34PM

    Very simple, son of business tycoon will eventually get second chance in the name of reconsideration.poor wont entertained by such acts.Recommend

  • MAK
    Nov 28, 2017 - 1:37PM

    Obviously !!! Who can punish filthy rich. One way or other, his father will bail him out though everyone knows how he killed the young Shazaib Khan on street. Recommend

  • zafar
    Nov 28, 2017 - 3:29PM

    Very shamefull decision.Recommend

  • haha
    Nov 29, 2017 - 8:12AM

    when shahzeb family have bought the death of their son for visas to another country, who are we to question and blame. they sold their son who stood up to evil than also die fighting in his cause. lets not waste our time further. Recommend

  • Manzoor Ahmed
    Nov 29, 2017 - 9:21AM

    Premeditated murder and forced the parents to compromise or lose the remaining family. The trail itself is disgraceful. zardari ensured that Jatoi and Siraj Talpur were on fake documents exported to Dubai by FIA. There are many factors and as usual justice goes down the drain. Shame on us all.Recommend

  • Luciferous
    Nov 29, 2017 - 11:19AM

    Nauseating….
    Really sick society..Recommend

  • Luciferous
    Nov 29, 2017 - 11:22AM

    30 years old “Juvenile?”
    Who is juvenile; murderers or the justice system?Recommend

  • Babar Jilani
    Dec 24, 2017 - 12:09PM

    Shah Zaib is Shaheed since he died protecting his honor. These scums of the society have no honor and they are spreading their filth in our homeland. I hope one day public will wake up as they woke up against Namoosay Risalat.Recommend

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