KARACHI: A judicial magistrate on Tuesday refused to accept the charge sheet filed in the Nazim Jokhio murder case and ordered the investigating officer to submit the same before the administrative judge of the antiterrorism courts since the offence fell within the meaning of ‘terrorism’.

Judicial Magistrate (Malir) Altaf Hussain Tunio pronounced his order reserved earlier on the final charge sheet in which the IO held responsible Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Jam Awais, Hyder ali, Meer Ali, Muhammad Mairaj, Jamal Ahmed, MNA Jam Abdul Karim, Niaz Salar, Ata Muhammad and Zahid for the premeditated murder, attempting to destroy the evidence and intimidating the victim’s family.

But, he had removed the charge of kidnapping and abatement (Sections 365 and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code) and also let off seven suspects “due to non-availability of evidence against them”.

On Tuesday, the judicial magistrate directed the IO, Inspector Siraj Lashari to submit the charge sheet before the administrative judge of the ATC to initiating the trial under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 1997.

Court returns charge sheet to IO, asking him to file it before ATC administrative judge

The magistrate observed that a perusal of the final investigation report and case record showed that the matter pertaining to the same offence /crime had come up before a model criminal trial court hearing bail pleas of some of the suspects.

“After hearing the parties at length the model court had decided the point of jurisdiction and did not entertain the matter, holding that it fell within the definition of terrorism and thus the sessions court has no jurisdiction to try and decide the matter,” observed the magistrate in his order.

He said it was analysed that there was no personal grudge or enmity involved in the matter and it was held that the accused had no other intention or motive behind their acts but to create insecurity and fear in the public by such an act, as specified in the sub-clause (a) of sub-section 2 of Section 6 of the ATA, 1997 and resultantly the requirement as provided in the Ghulam Hussain case was made out.

“After discussion, it was held that the matter was one of the natures, which fell within the definition of terrorism and thus the (incumbent) court had no jurisdiction to try and decide the matter,” the magistrate ruled.

He also made it clear that the opinion of IO Lashari in the final charge sheet was not binding upon the court in any way.

“In view of the observation already made, considering arguments so advanced, taking the facts into consideration, I am also of the same view as adopted by the court of Additional Sessions Judge (Malir) in its order dated 13.1.2022.

“Hence, the matter is fit to be triable by the special court for antiterrorism,” the order concluded.

The magistrate returned the charge sheet along with complete police file to the IO directing him to submit the same before the administrative judge of the ATCs.

The judge also disposed of an application filed by the widow of the victim under Section 190 of the criminal procedure code seeking inclusion of the charge of terrorism in the case.

Nazim Jokhio, 27, was found tortured to death at the Malir farmhouse of PPP MPA Jam Awais on Nov 3, 2021. His brother Afzal Jokhio nominated the MPA Jan, his elder brother MNA Jam Karim, and their servants and guards for murdering Nazim as he earned their ire by resisting houbara bustard hunting by the lawmakers’ foreign guests.

A case was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the PPC at the Memon Goth police station on the complaint of the victim’s brother, Afzal Jokhio.

Published in Dawn, February 9th, 2022

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