KARACHI: A special bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC) began on Monday the hearing of various applications pertaining to the Shahzeb Khan murder case on the orders of the Supreme Court (SC).
The prime accused Shahrukh Jatoi's lawyer, Farooq H Naek requested the two-judge bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Nazar Akbar, to first take up the appeal regarding the age of his client.
The lawyer claimed that Shahrukh was under 18 years old when Shahzeb was murdered. He argued that the subordinate court had overlooked the fact regarding the age of his client. He requested the court to determine Shahrukh's age first, as he was the prime suspect in the case.
However, the bench announced that it would first take up the appeal of Siraj Talpur, another accused in the case who, along with Shahrukh, was awarded the death penalty when the case was initially heard by an anti-terrorism court.
The bench told Naek that the issue of Shahrukh's age would be heard as the hearings proceeded.
Court orders publishing of agreement between Shahzeb's family, Shahrukh Jatoi
A lawyer informed the court that Advocate Rasheed A Razvi, who earlier represented Shahrukh, had given up the case. Submitting Latif Khosa's power of attorney, the lawyer asked the bench to adjourn the hearing for a week as Khosa was busy in another court and needed time to prepare for the case.
The bench remarked that adjournment was being asked for even though the hearing had even not started.
No lawyer appeared from the side of another accused, Ghulam Murtaza. Through the jail superintendent, the court issued the notice to Murtaza over the lawyer's absence.
Naek requested the adjournment of the case. The bench fixed the hearing for February 26.
The SHC special bench was constituted for the fresh hearing of the case after the SC had annulled the high court's decision which had removed sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act from the case. The apex court also suspended the agreement signed between the families of Shahrukh and Shahzeb under which Shahzeb's family had pardoned the convicts.
Shahzeb murder case: SHC constitutes special bench to hear appeals of Shahrukh Jatoi, others
Fake documents case
A Malir judicial magistrate heard on Monday the case registered against Shahurkh for attempting to flee abroad using fake documents. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) informed the court that the accused had tried to flee to a foreign country after murdering Shahzeb. The FIA added that the case was being delayed due to the absence of the accused and even after five years the suspect could not be indicted. Shahrukh's lawyer informed the magistrate that his client was behind the bars on the order of the apex court due to which he could not appear for the hearing. The court issued summons for Shahrukh for the next hearing.
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