Shahrukh Jatoi (right) was sentenced to death for murdering Shahzeb Khan (left) by anti-terrorism court in 2013.
KARACHI: The Supreme Court on Saturday issued bailable arrest warrants for Shahrukh Jatoi and others in the Shahzeb murder case as a bench of the top court took up for hearing an application moved by civil society and rights activist against Sindh High Court orders that had set aside death sentence handed down to the convicts and ordered retrial.
The orders came as a three judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan started hearing the application at the Karachi Registry of the Supreme Court. The bench ordered the authorities to put names of Shahrukh Jatoi, Murtaza Lashari, Siraj Tapur and Sajjad Talpur on the Exit Control List (ECL).
Issuing the bailable arrest warrants for the accused, the court also issued notices to all the respondents and ordered the Interior Ministry to send its orders to all the airports in the country.
Civil society activists had filed a petition in the Karachi registry of the apex court just days after a court released Shahrukh Jatoi and others on bail.
Shahrukh Jatoi along with Nawab Siraj Ali Talpur were sentenced to death while Siraj’s brother Nawab Sajjad Ali Talpur with his employee Ghulam Murtaza Lashari were sentenced to life imprisonment by the Anti-Terrorism Court on June 7, 2013 for murdering a private university student Shahzaib Khan on December 24, 2012.
The court declared that killing of Shahzeb Khan, who was murdered in DHA on December 24, 2012, was a case of “personal vendetta” and ordered that the trial proceedings be remanded back to sessions court for denovo trial.
“We find that this was a case of personal vendetta hence section 6 of Anti Terrorism Act was misapplied by the police as well as cognizance and trial was not proper,” SHC’s division bench headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar observed in its judgment.
“Accordingly, impugned judgment is set aside and the case is remanded back to the sessions court for denovo trial,” it ordered. The court observed that the trial court would be competent to decide the compromise application within the four corners of the law as well as other applications if filed before the trial court.
Prosecution alleged that Ghulam Murtaza Lashsari, an employee of Siraj Talpur, eve-teased Shahzaib’s sister resulting in a bickering between Shahzaib and Shahrukh Jatoi, Siraj Talpur and others, but the matter was resolved due to intervention of the Shahzaib’s father Aurangzaib Khan.
According to the prosecution, the accused followed Shahzaib, who left the house in his vehicle after the brawl, and later on instigation of absconding co-accused Asif Lund and Salman Jatoi, the accused Shahrukh Jatoi and Siraj Talpur made murderous assault on Shahzaib, with pistols at Khyaban-e-Beharia near Mubarak Masjid, who succumbed to injuries at Ziauddin Hospital.
The brutal killing of the Shahzeb allegedly by the persons belonging to influential families sparked public outrage and protest demonstrations by civil society and ultimately Supreme Court also took suo moto notice of the incident and ordered police to arrest the culprits and prosecute them without delay.