Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.
KARACHI: The 2012 murder case of Shahzeb Khan took a new turn on Tuesday when the Sindh High Court (SHC) ordered a retrial, striking down the death penalty awarded to the convicts by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC).
Shahzeb Khan was gunned down by the son of an influential feudal in a posh locality of Karachi. An ATC in 2013 had awarded death sentences to Shahrukh Jatoi and Siraj Talpur for the murder of Shahzeb Khan, while life sentences were awarded to Sajjad Ali Talpur and Ghulam Murtaza Lashari.
Shahrukh Jatoi had appealed against the death sentence handed to him before a two-member bench of the Sindh High Court.
In its order on Tuesday, the SHC stated that an act of revenge over personal enmity does not equate to an act of terrorism.
In light of the arguments, the bench noted that “this was a case of personal vendetta” and that “Section 6 of Anti-Terrorism Act was misapplied by the police” and that the “trial was not proper.”
The order further said: “Accordingly, impugned judgement is set-aside and case is remanded back to ordinary Court (Sessions Court),” where the matter will be decided within the four corners of the law.
During the hearing on Tuesday, the Sindh Prosecutor General Shahadat Awan informed the court that the plaintiff has withdrawn from the case.
Shahzeb Khan murder case
Shahzeb Khan, 20, was shot dead on the night between December 24 and 25 in 2012. Seven people including Shahrukh Jatoi, Nawab Siraj Talpur his brother Sajjad Talpur and their employee Murtaza Lashari were booked in the murder case.
An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in 2013 awarded death sentences to the key accused, Shahrukh Jatoi and Siraj Talpur in the murder case, while the other two accused were awarded life imprisonment.
According to the 2013 judgment, the court penalized all four accused with Rs 500,000 fine while Sajjad Talpur and Murtaza Lashari were ordered to serve an additional one-year imprisonment for harassing Shahzeb’s sister.
However, the parents of the deceased Shahzeb Khan decided to pardon the culprits responsible for the murder of their son. The family filed an affidavit with the court pardoning the men accused of killing their only son.
The victim’s parents – father Deputy Superintendent of Police Aurangzeb Khan and mother Ambreen Aurangzeb – also requested for the release of the four perpetrators involved.
Speaking to a private news channel in 2013, the victim’s mother Ambreen Aurangzeb reportedly said that: “we may not have forgiven them in our hearts, but we have pardoned our son’s killers in the name of Allah.We cannot spend our entire lives in fear… we took the decision considering the circumstances.”
Details of pardon agreement
The details of the pardon agreement have surfaced according to which Shahzeb Khan’s family were paid Rs 270 million.
Sources informed Geo News that as part of the agreement, the deceased’s family were given a 500-square-yard house in the Defence neighbourhood of Karachi, while his father was given an apartment in Australia. According to sources, the pardon agreement was with Shahzeb’s father DSP Aurangzeb.
Meanwhile, Shahrukh Jatoi has been admitted to the Jinnah Hospital for the last two months.