KARACHI: The main accused in the 2012 Shahzeb Khan murder case Shahrukh Jatoi was once again shifted to the central jail on Monday after Geo News reported that the death-row inmate was "enjoying lavish perks at a private hospital" in the metropolitan for more than two years.
Jatoi was reportedly living on the upper floor of Qamar-ul-Islam Hospital in Karachi, which was rented by Jatoi's family for the imprisoned convict, sources said.
Jatoi was living a normal life despite being convicted in a murder case; however, after the news was broadcast on media, the jail administration took swift action and Jatoi was put behind bars in no time.
According to footage available with Geo News, Jatoi appeared to be making full use of television, airconditioner, and a refrigerator among other facilities, in a private hospital room — a clear violation of rules and procedures of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Sources said that Jatoi was staying at a private hospital in the Gizri area of Karachi for more than two years instead of Karachi's central jail. He was apparently living a "luxurious life on the upper floor of the private hospital."
They further mentioned that Jatoi was also allowed to leave the hospital premises and no police officials were seen on duty.
They said that Jatoi was transferred from the jail to a private hospital on the "orders of the Sindh Home Department and an influential person was behind this breach of rules."
Well-placed sources in the Sindh Health Department told Geo News that the department was unaware of the decision to transfer Jatoi and the department wasn’t contacted before the transfer.
According to the health department officials, in order to transfer any accused or offender to a private hospital, the home department consults the health department and a medical board is formed to make a final decision.
However, the health department sources said that Jatoi was shifted to a private hospital without the formation of a medical board.
Per sources, if a prisoner's life is in danger, they are transferred to a public or private hospital, however, in this particular case, the health department did not receive any letter from the jail or the home department regarding the transfer of Jatoi.
Under the Jail (Amendment) Act 2019, the Inspector General of Police has the authority to transfer prisoners to hospitals for medical facilities, sources in the provincial home department said.
It is also pertinent to mention here that that in case a prisoner who has been convicted in a murder case has to be hospitalised, they must be shifted to a government facility rather than being shifted to a private hospital.
The private hospital where Jatoi was transferred was established in 1964, sources said, adding that it was a 30-bed hospital near Punjab Chowrangi.
Per sources, Jatoi was transported from the prison to the hospital after he complained of a backache. Later on, he also reportedly complained of experiencing gastric problems.
It may be recalled that in 2019, the then chief justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar had visited the prison cell of Jatoi at the Landhi Jail and had expressed anger at the facilities being provided to the convict.
Shahzeb Khan, 20, was shot dead on the night between December 24 and 25 in 2012.
According to the 2013 judgment, the court penalised all four accused in the case with a fine worth Rs500,000, while Sajjad Talpur and Murtaza Lashari were ordered to serve an additional one year of imprisonment for harassing Shahzeb’s sister.
Speaking to a private news channel in 2013, the victim’s mother Ambreen Aurangzeb had reportedly said: “We may not have forgiven them in our hearts, but we have pardoned our son’s killers in the name of Allah. We cannot spend our entire lives in fear… we took the decision considering the circumstances.”
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