SHC reserves verdict in Shahzeb murder case

Bench had reservations on the legal status of the compromise between the parties


Our Correspondent March 12, 2019
Shahzeb Khan. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) reserved on Monday the verdict in the Shahzeb murder case after the completion of arguments by the counsels over the appeals filed against the sentences awarded to the suspects by the trial court.

A two-member bench headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and comprising Justice Nazar Akbar heard the appeals of the suspects, Shahrukh Jatoi and others.

Advocate Syed Mehmood Alam Rizvi argued that the deceased's father and the plaintiff had died and has left a widow and two daughters behind. All three women are abroad, he said, and do not want to come to court.

Shahzeb murder case: SHC suggests investigation, prosecution be handed over to army

According to the state's counsel, the government had raised an objection over the compromise reached between the suspects and the plaintiff. The compromise could not be presented before the court without the consent of the special public prosecutor.

The bench had expressed its reservations over the legal status of the compromise and reserved its verdict on Monday.

Safoora Goth case

The SHC adjourned the hearing of a plea seeking suspension of a death penalty handed to convicts in the Safoora Goth bus firing case.

The counsel for the federation submitted a reply regarding deferment of the death penalty awarded by a military court.  The federal government said in its response that the plea was not maintainable in the high court and the Supreme Court should be approached in this regard.

The court, after providing the copies of the reply, submitted by the federal government to the applicants, deferred the hearing till March 26.

Earlier, a military court had awarded death sentences to five suspects involved in Safoora Goth massacre.

According to Inter-Services Public Relations, five convicts, Tahir Hussain Minhas, son of Khadim Hussain Minhas, Saad Aziz, son of Abdul Aziz Sheikh, Asad ur Rehman, son of Atiqur Rehman, Hafiz Nasir, son of Afzal Ahmed and Muhammad Azhar Ishrat, son of Ishrat Rasheed Ahmed, were tried in a military court.

The accused had confessed to committing the crime, before trial court, including the killing of  Sabeen Mahmud, Safoora Chowrangi carnage, a bomb blast near Saleh Mosque and attacking law enforcement agencies.

At least 43 people were killed and 13 others wounded in May 2015 when armed men opened fire on a bus carrying members of the Ismaili community near Safoora Chowrangi in Karachi.

Plea rejected

The SHC rejected the bail plea of two accused involved in selling over 227 plots in Lines Area Development Project through China cutting.

A two-member bench heard the bail plea filed by the accused, Fareed Yousafani and Tahir Jameel.  The court asked the accountability court to wrap up the hearings of the reference within one month. Yousafani and Jameel's lawyer said that the suspects had been in prison for the last three years and were very sick.

According to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) the accused incurred losses worth billions of rupees to the national exchequer.

NAB prosecutor said that a reference against the suspects has been filed. The defence lawyer said that the case filed by NAB did not mention the plot numbers.

China cutting is the illegal slicing of land from amenity plots to create residential or commercial spaces that are sold at exorbitant rates.

With additional reporting from PPI 

Published in The Express Tribune, March 12th, 2019.

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