Published On: Tue, May 14th, 2019
Published in Category: Karachi

Shahrukh Jatoi, Siraj Talpur’s death sentences commuted to life imprisonment in Shahzeb murder case

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KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday commuted the death sentences handed to Shahrukh Jatoi and Nawab Siraj Talpur in the Shahzeb Khan murder case into life imprisonment as it announced its verdict on their appeals against conviction in the case.

Announcing the verdict on Monday, Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Nazar Akbar upheld the life imprisonments of two other suspects in the case — Ghulam Murtaza Lashari and Sajjad Talpur.

“Since the legal heirs of deceased Shahzeb have compounded the offense of Qatl-i-amad under section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code, therefore, along the lines of dictum laid down by the Supreme Court with regard to the impact and effect of compounding offences under the provisions of PPC and Anti Terrorism Act 1997, the Special ATA Appeal No 19 and 25/2013 to the extent of Nawab Siraj Ali Talpur and Shahrukh Jatoi are partly allowed,” read the verdict.

It added: “The death sentence awarded to Jatoi and Talpur is reduced from death penalty to life imprisonment under Section 7 (a) of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.”

During the hearing, the counsel representing the state pointed out that the prime accused was declared an adult aged above 18 years by a medical board. “Shahrukh’s case cannot be tried under juvenile laws,” he argued.

Shahrukh’s lawyer said the families of the victim and the accused had reached an agreement and requested the court to acquit all the accused. “The victim’s father has passed away and his mother and sisters have moved abroad.”

Former chief justice of Pakistan justice Mian Saqib Nisar had ordered the Sindh High Court to decide the Shahzeb murder case in three months time.

Shahzeb Khan, the 20-year-old son of former Deputy Superintendent of Police Aurangzeb Khan, was gunned down in Karachi’s Defence Housing Authority (DHA) area on the night of December 24, 2012.

An anti-terrorism court in 2013 had awarded death sentences to Shahrukh Jatoi and Siraj Talpur for the murder of Shahzeb, while life sentences were awarded to Sajjad Ali Talpur and Ghulam Murtaza Lashari.

The Sindh High Court later set aside the punishments awarded to the accused by the anti-terrorism court and ordered a retrial of the case in a sessions court.

In December 2017, Jatoi and other suspects were released on bail on SHC order. The court ordered the suspects to submit surety bonds worth Rs5 lac for the approval of bail plea.

The decision was made after Shahzeb’s father submitted agreement copy in the court. “Shahzeb’s family forgave (Shahrukh Jatoi) in the name of Allah. They didn’t take any cash,” brother Ashraf Jatoi said while talking to media.