News Desk |
On Monday, the Sindh High Court reduced the death sentence dispensed to Sharukh Jatoi and Siraj Talpur in the Shahzeb Khan Murder case into a life imprisonment sentence in response to their appeals against the death conviction. The Sindh High Court listened to their appeal and announced its verdict against the conviction handed over to the accused earlier. The court upheld the life sentences given to Sajjad Talpur and Ghulam Murtaza Lashari.
The verdict issued by the Court stated, “Since the legal heirs of deceased Shahzaib 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.
The Talpurs were joined by other friends, including Sharukh Jatoi, who managed to track down Shahzeb, and gunned him down.
The verdict further stated, “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.”
In June 2013, Sharukh Jatoi and his accomplice Nawab Siraj Ali Talpur were sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court, while the other two accomplices were subjected to life imprisonment for the murder of 20-year old Shahzeb Khan, who was killed on 25th December, 2012 near his house in Karachi’s DHA.
Read more: Shahrukh Jataoi being treated as VIP despite CJP orders
In 2013, Shahzeb’s parents shocked the nation by pardoning the culprits who had murdered their only son. The lawyers of the accused had filed appeals in the Sindh High Court to challenge the conviction, and Shahrukh Jatoi even filed an application for criminal review on grounds that he was a juvenile when he murdered Shahzeb Khan.
In November 2017, a two-judge bench of the Sindh High Court, led by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar, had nullified the conviction, and the case was transferred to a sessions court to renew the trial, and to deduce the compromise, along with other applications in an observation that the offence of murder does not fall in under the jurisdiction of the Anti-Terrorism Act. Shortly after, Shahrukh Jatoi and his accomplices were released on bail.
Siraj Talpur in the Shahzeb Khan Murder case into a life imprisonment sentence in response to their appeals against the death conviction.
The nation was shocked by this decision, and after a massive hue and cry, 10 civil society activists, including Jibran Nasir, had challenged the judgment of the Sindh High Court before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court changed the appeals into a Suo Motu Case as per the Article 184(3) of the Pakistan Constitution.
In February 2018, the judgment of the Sindh High Court was nullified, and the case was transferred back to the SHC with orders to hear the appeals by a new bench of the SHC within a period of two months. As per these directions, a bench was formed under Justice Nazar Akbar and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, who upon hearing the arguments put forward by the counsel of the culprits, chose to reverse the verdicts given on their appeals on 11th March, 2019.
Read more: Shahzeb murder case: SC asks what constitutes terrorism?
Shahzeb Khan Murdered in Cold Blood
On the night of 24th December 2012, Shahzeb Khan was gunned down by Sharukh Jatoi, Siraj Talpur and two other friends while protecting the honor of his sister. The accused Ghulam Murtaza Lashari was teasing and cat-calling Shahzeb sister, who was returning from her sister’s Walima, resulting in a fight between the Talpurs and Shahzeb.
The Talpurs were joined by other friends, including Sharukh Jatoi, who managed to track down Shahzeb, and gunned him down. Initially, Shahzeb’s parents struggled with filing FIRs and no arrests were made until the victim’s family initiated a massive social media campaign to demand justice for their murdered child.
The Supreme Court changed the appeals into a Suo Motu Case as per the Article 184(3) of the Pakistan Constitution.
On 7th January, 2013, the police arrested Ghulam Murtaza Lashari, Siraj Talpur and Sajjad Talpur, while Sharukh Jatoi had escaped to Dubai, but was arrested shortly after. Multiple charges were filed against the accused, and in June 2013, the main accused, Sharukh Jatoi and Siraj Talpur were sentenced to death.
Read more: Shahzeb murder case sent back to ATC by the Supreme Court
Over the years, Sharukh Jatoi, with his malevolent smiles into the camera and shameless facial expressions, not to mention the victory signs, has greatly angered the public, stirring negative reactions from across the country.
Only last year in October, Sharukh Jatoi was reprimanded by former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, during his visit to Karachi’s Landhi Jail, who was shocked to find Jatoi luxuriating in a cell furbished with modern amenities, including a television, refrigerator and microwave, all of which paint a clear picture of the influence enjoyed by feudal lords in Sindh. On the orders of former CJP Saqib Nisar, Sharukh was moved to Karachi central jail.