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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Shahrukh Jatoi set free in Shahzeb Khan murder case

Shahrukh Jatoi's acquittal is taking social media by storm. Pakistanis are questioning the justice system and the influence that the elite and powerful of Pakistani society wield as they seem to get away with major acts of crime. 

In a major development, the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday acquitted Shahrukh Jatoi and others, involved in the murder case of Karachi’s youth Shahzeb Khan.

According to the details, a three-member bench comprising Justice Muzahir Naqvi, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and Justice Muneeb Akhtar heard the case.

Jatoi’s lawyer Latif Khosa said his client was languishing in jail for the last eight years, despite an agreement with the Shahzeb family, who are currently settled in Australia. As a result, it was decided to release Shahrukh Jatoi and others involved in the murder of Shahzeb Khan.

It is pertinent to mention here that an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) had awarded the death penalty to Jatoi and his accomplice Siraj Ali Talpur for Shahzeb’s murder in 2012 following a petty dispute. Siraj’s younger brother, Sajjad Ali Talpur, and domestic helper Ghulam Murtaza Lashari had been handed life sentences.

Read more: CM Sindh announces huge punishment for Shahrukh Jatoi’s facilitators

In 2017, Shahzeb’s parents ‘pardoned’ Shahrukh Jatoi under the Qisas and Diyat law. However, in 2018, the Supreme Court of Pakistan took notice of it. Subsequently, his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by the Sindh High Court (SHC). Despite the pardon, however, the death penalty had been upheld because of the addition of terrorism charges to the case — up until the SHC dropped the charges and ordered a retrial in the case. The SHC, while hearing appeals against the conviction, had later commuted the death sentence into life imprisonment.

Reaction to Shahrukh Jatoi’s acquittal

Shahrukh Jatoi’s acquittal is taking social media by storm. Pakistanis are questioning the justice system and the influence that the elite and powerful of Pakistani society wield as they seem to get away with major acts of crime.

“Shahrukh Jatoi’s acquittal proves that it is almost impossible to convict the elite in Pakistan. Who’s next now? Zahir Jaffar? Shahnawaz Amir?” one of Pakistan’s leading anchorperson Maria Memon tweeted.

“Disappointed about Shahrukh Jatoi’s acquittal by Supreme Court. The rich and powerful really can’t do any wrong in this country. Whatever the technical reasons for this acquittal, it doesn’t reflect well on the state of our criminal justice system. The common man will lose further hope,” Barrister Taimur Malik tweeted.

“Shahrukh Jatoi also got acquitted, just like Nawaz, Shehbaz, Maryam, and Zardari. Our courts only punish the weak and poor Pakistanis,” PTI’s focal person to Punjab Chief Minister Azhar Mashwani said.

Read more: Shahzeb Murder Case: Sharukh Jatoi’s Death Sentence Reduced to Life Imprisonment