Murder of Shahzab Khan and Shahrukh Jatoi set free 10 years later
In December 2012, Shahzeb Khan was murdered on his way back from his sister’s valima by Shahrukh Jatoi and his accomplices. 10 years later, Shahrukh Jatoi and his accomplices are set free by the court leaving the civil society in rage and the family of Shahzeb Khan shattered.
The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday acquitted prime convict Shahrukh Jatoi and other co-convicts in the Shahzb Khan murder case after hearing the final arguments.
A 3-member bench headed by Supreme Court Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard the case.
Latif Khosa, the lawyer of the convict Shahrukh Jatoi, said in arguments that the parties had already reached an agreement.
“The accused had no intention of spreading terror but the incident of murder was given the color of terrorism,” he added.
Later, the court acquitted the prime convict Shahrukh Jatoi and other co-convicts in the Shahzaib murder case.
A 20-year-old Shahzeb was shot dead in Defense area of Karachi in December 2012.
The then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, took suo moto notice of the case, after which the police arrested the criminals and filed a case against them in the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC).
Later, on June 30, 2013, the Anti-Terrorism Court sentenced Shahrukh Jatoi and Siraj Talpur to death, while Sajjad Talpur and Ghulam Murtaza Lashari were sentenced to life imprisonment.
The convicts filed an appeal against the sentence in the Sindh High Court in 2013. A few months after the death sentence was pronounced by the court, Shahzeb’s parents issued an amnesty letter which was accepted by the Sindh High Court.
After Shahzeb’s parents issued an amnesty letter, the death sentence was upheld due to terrorism provisions, but on November 11, 2017, the Sindh High Court quashed the sentence and ordered a re-investigation.
On December 30, the Sessions Court had ordered the release of Shahrukh Jatoi and other criminals on bail.
On December 26, 2017, lawyers, human rights activist Jibran Nasir and other citizens of Karachi appealed against the decision of the Sindh High Court to send the case of Shahrukh Jatoi and co-convicts to the Sessions Court in the Shahzaib murder case.
On February 1, 2018, during the hearing of various petitions in the Shahzeb murder case, the Supreme Court suspended the bail given by the Sindh High Court to 3 criminals including Shahrukh Jatoi and arrested the criminals by re-trialing the said case in the civil court.
A three-member bench headed by then Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, former Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Maqbool Baqir heard the petitions filed by human rights organizations in the high-profile murder case.
The Supreme Court suspended the decision of the Sindh High Court and ordered the police to immediately arrest the criminals.
The Supreme Court had also ordered to put the names of the criminals in the Exit Control List (ECL).
Later, on the order of the Supreme Court, a 2-member bench comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Nazar Akbar of the Sindh High Court heard the case against the criminals and on March 11, after hearing the arguments of the lawyers of the parties, reserved the verdict.
On May 13, 2019, the Supreme Court commuted the death sentence of 2 criminals to life imprisonment while upholding the life sentence of the other 2 criminals.