SHC orders review in high-profile Shahzeb Khan murder case

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Shahzeb Khan murder case

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday ordered a retrial of the Shahzeb Khan murder case by a sessions court after revoking the punishments awarded to Shahrukh Jatoi and three others.
The SHC made the decision while hearing a criminal review application of Shahrukh Jatoi filed by his lawyer Advocate Farooq H. Naek in August 2016, seeking his retrial in the juvenile court after partly hearing arguments from his counsel.
Naek contended that his client was a juvenile at the time of committing the crime, therefore, he could not be tried under the anti-terrorism law. He asked the court to order retrial of the case in a regular court as the accused person was not an adult at the time of the crime.
In 2013, an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) awarded the death penalty to Jatoi and Siraj Talpur for Shahzeb’s murder. Siraj’s younger brother Sajjad Ali Talpur and his servant Ghulam Murtaza Lashari were sentenced to life imprisonment.
A couple of months after the sentence, however, Shahzeb’s parents issued a formal pardon to the convicts.
The defence counsel today argued that Shahzeb’s murder was the result of a personal enmity and should not have been tried in an ATC. He requested the court to review whether the case was eligible to be tried in an ATC or not.
The Sindh prosecutor general, however, pointed out that the SHC had still not approved the pardon issued by Shahzeb’s parents. Since a final decision had not been made, he argued, the case could not be restarted.
At this, Justice Salahuddin expressed surprise, saying that as the case was tried in an ATC and included clauses of terrorism, granting a pardon was not possible.
The judge said the case could be sent for a retrial in a sessions court after a review of whether the terrorism charges were applicable or not.
Subsequently, the court decided on a fresh trial of the case in a sessions court, disposing off the punishments handed to the four accused.

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