The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday dismissed a petition of Shahrukh Jatoi, prime accused in Shahzeb Khan’s murder case, seeking transfer of his case from ATC to sessions court.
Shahrukh Jatoi along with Siraj Talpur, Sajjad Talpur and their cook Ghulam Murtaza Lashari have been accused of murdering 20-year-old Shahzeb in his car over a minor dispute near Mubarak Masjid in DHA in the early hours of December 25, 2012.
The petitioner, who challenged the decision of anti-terrorism court (ATC), which dismissed his application seeking transfer of the case to sessions court, had submitted through his counsel that under the influence of media campaign the investigation officer added Section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act-1997 in the charge-sheet. He contended that the contents of the FIR lodged against him and other accused did not contain any element of terrorism, adding, all the prosecution witnesses have not given statements under sections 161 and 164 of CrPC that the accused had committed a terrorist act.
The petitioner submitted that he had no prior criminal history neither he has any connection with any banned outfit, saying that the charge-sheet filed in the ATC was illegal and unlawful.
He pleaded the court to set aside the ATC order and allow transferring the case to a sessions court.
Headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, the division bench dismissed the petition through short order.
IO to be cross-examined
An Anti Terrorism Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of Shahzeb Khan murder case till Thursday due to non-appearance of prime accused Shahrukh Jatoi’s counsel Shaukat Zubedi advocate to cross examine the investigation officer (IO) of the case.
IO Inspector Mubeen Ahmed has recorded his statement and now he would be cross-examined by the attorneys of the four accused. When the hearing of the case resumed on Wednesday, Shaukat Zubedi’s junior told the court that Shahrukh Jatoi’s attorney could not appear in the court due to poor law and order situation in the city and sought adjournment of the hearing.
The lawyers of the two accused, Siraj Ali Talpur and Sajjad Ali Talpur, were present and they were later joined by the advocate of the fourth accused Ghulam Murtaza Lashari, however, the hearing was adjourned.
In his statement, IO Inspector Mubeen Ahmed submitted before the ATC headed by Ghulam Mustafa Memon that after the arrest of the prime suspect (Shahrukah Jatoi) he recovered the case property consisting of the pistols and a vehicle used in the crime. He submitted that the witnesses, who recorded their statements under Section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code, identified all the four accused - Shahrukh Jatoi, Siraj Ali Talpur, Sajjad Ali Talpur and their employee Ghulam Murtaza Lashari - involved in the murder of Shahzeb Khan.
The IO told the court that he had taken up the Shahzeb murder case on January 1 after the Supreme Court issued a notification in this regard.
The court had allowed the IO to record his statement in two parts on his request that being a diabetic it was not possible for him to stand in the witness box for a long time.
Earlier, the first investigation officer, Sub-Inspector Nafees Ahmed, had recorded his statement and he was cross-examined before the court by the counsel of the four accused.