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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, acquitted Shahrukh Jatoi and his accomplices in the murder of Shahzeb Khan, 20-year-old son of a former deputy superintendent of police.

A three-member judge bench, headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan on Tuesday heard Shahrukh’s and others’ petitions for acquittal.

Sardar Latif Khosa, representing Jatoi argued that the parties have already entered into an agreement and the deceased’s family has pardoned the accused. He contended that his client had no intention to spread terror.

An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC), Karachi, had awarded 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.

Shahzeb murder case: SC to hear pleas of Shahrukh Jatoi, others on Monday

A couple of months after the sentence was passed, however, Shahzeb’s parents had issued a formal pardon for the convicts, approved 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 sentences into life imprisonment.

Subsequently, all four accused had approached the Supreme Court.

Shahzeb Khan was gunned down on Saba Avenue in Karachi’s Defence Housing Authority (DHA) on the night of December 24, 2012. Shahzeb had returned home from a wedding with his family when an employee of the accused verbally harassed his sister. He confronted the accused and demanded an apology.

The accused, however, were remorseless and refused to apologise for the behaviour of their employee. The issue was apparently resolved when Shahzeb’s father intervened and tried to pacify both his son and the other party.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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