SHC reserves verdict on convicts' appeals in Shahzeb Khan murder case

Updated March 11, 2019

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The Sindh High Court on Monday reserved a verdict in the appeals against the conviction of Shahrukh Jatoi and others in the Shahzeb Khan murder case. — PPI/File
The Sindh High Court on Monday reserved a verdict in the appeals against the conviction of Shahrukh Jatoi and others in the Shahzeb Khan murder case. — PPI/File

The Sindh High Court on Monday reserved a verdict in the appeals against the conviction of Shahrukh Jatoi and others in the Shahzeb Khan murder case.

After hearing arguments, a division bench headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar reserved its verdict.

During the hearing, the lawyer representing the complainant party, Advocate Mehmood Alam Rizvi, said that former DSP Aurangzeb Khan, Shahzeb Khan's father, had died. The lawyer said that the deceased's wife and two daughters were living outside Pakistan and did not want to appear before the court.

He added that a court representative could contact them through Skype or any other means in order to confirm the compromise that had been reached between both sides.

In 2013, Khan's parents had decided to pardon the culprits responsible for the murder of their son.

In his arguments today, the state's lawyer said that the government had expressed its reservations about the compromise and argued that no compromise can reached without the approval of the special public prosecutor, which did not happen in this case.

He said the state had concerns about the legal capacity of the complainants' lawyer and added that at least the family's address should be kept in the record

The complainant's lawyer told them that the family is based abroad and said that it was not the suspects that the family was scared of, but social media.

"If they are scared how long will they keep hiding? They should register a case against those who they are scared of," the court said.

Advocate Rizvi noted that after they came to a compromise, everyone on social media had become an enemy and asked how many people the family could fight.

He told the court had they had completed their arguments and added that written arguments had also been submitted.

Following the conclusion of arguments, the court secured the verdict on the accused's appeals.

Shahzeb Khan case

An anti-terrorism court had sentenced Shahrukh Jatoi and his friend Nawab Siraj Ali Talpur to death in June 2013, while two other co-accused were awarded life imprisonment for killing 20-year-old Shahzeb Khan on Dec 25, 2012 near his home in the Defence Housing Authority.

The convicts, through their counsel, filed appeals in the Sindh High Court against the conviction while Shahrukh had also filed a criminal review application contending that he was a juvenile at the time of the offence.

In Nov 2017, a two-judge bench of SHC headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar had set aside the conviction and sent the case to a sessions court for fresh trial and to decide the compromise as well as other applications with an observation that the offence did not come within the parameters of the ATA. Later, the sessions court had released Shahrukh and others on bail.

Thereafter, around 10 civil society activists challenged the SHC judgement before the Supreme Court. The apex court converted the appeals into a suo motu case under Article 184(3) of the Constitution and in February 2018, set aside the SHC judgement and remanded the case back to the SHC with the direction that the appeals be decided by a different bench of the SHC within two months.