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SC orders arrest of Shahrukh Jatoi, others in Shahzeb murder case

The Supreme Court on Thursday delivered its verdict in the Shahzeb Khan murder case appeal, ordering the re-arrest of Shahrukh Jatoi, Siraj Talpur and others.
The appeal from civil society representatives challenged a Sindh High Court decision ordering a retrial of the case in a lower court sans terrorism charges.
During Wednesday’s hearing, the apex court questioned how a third party could be allowed to appeal when the parents of 20-year-old Shahzeb, who was shot dead in Karachi in December 2012, or the state, had not appealed against the SHC verdict which set aside terror charges against the suspects.
A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, also questioned if the case pertained to terrorism, and expressed concern that allowing a third party to challenge judgments could lead to exploitation.
The apex court, however, issued a notice to Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali for today, observing that it was the duty of the court to apply the correct law. The SHC had set aside the punishments awarded to the accused by an anti-terrorism court and had ordered a retrial of the case in a sessions court.
The defence had argued that the accused was a juvenile at the time of the crime. Members of civil society had approached the Supreme Court against the SHC ruling.
Ten civil society activists – including Jibran Nasir, Jamshed Raza Mahmood, Afiya Shehrbano Zia, Naeem Sadiq, Nazim Fida Hussain Haji, Zulfiqar Shah, Aquila Ismail, Fahim Zaman Khan, and Naziha Syed Ali – had filed a criminal petition in the Supreme Court’s Karachi Registry challenging the SHC’s November 28, 2017 ruling which stated that the murder case does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
In their petition, the civil society members stated that they have the legal standing to file the petition for leave to appeal as they are citizens of Karachi and reside in the same locality – Defence Housing Authority – where the murder took place.
They stated in the petition that the incident was not just of an individual nature, but carried serious repercussions for the society at large.