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Wednesday June 12, 2024

SHC upholds man’s death sentence in cop murder case

By Jamal Khurshid
September 22, 2023

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday dismissed the appeal of a man against his conviction in a policeman murder case and upheld the death sentence handed down to him by an anti-terrorism court (ATC).

Asif, alias Bhaya, was sentenced to death by the ATC for committing the murder of a police assistant sub-inspector in the Gulshan-e-Bahar area on August 28, 2021. According to the prosecution, the appellant along with co-accused had committed the murder of ASI Akram Khan when he along with other police personnel went to Gulshan-e-Bahar for the investigation of a case.

A counsel for the appellant submitted that the prosecution had failed to prove its case against him as there was lack of description, features or physical attributes of the alleged offender and the absence of such identifying information rendered irrelevant the subsequent identification of the appellant before a magistrate. He also questioned the identification parade of the appellant and requested the high court to set aside the trial court order.

An additional prosecutor general submitted that the complainant of the case, who was accompanied with the deceased police officer, had identified the appellant as the culprit and he was also identified by a closed-circuit camera. He said the appellant was also involved in seven other criminal cases pertaining to murder, dacoity and possession of illegal arms.

A division bench of the SHC comprising Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha and Justice Amjad Ali Bohio after hearing the arguments and perusal of the evidence observed that the complainant of the case had identified the appellant. The high court observed that the evidence of the police officer was supported by the owner of the hotel where the incident took place.

The bench observed that the prosecution had proved its case beyond any reasonable doubt, but noted that the case did not fall within the purview of the anti-terrorism law. The SHC said it had found no intent or design to create terror and the motive appeared to be revenge due to confinement of co-accused Shaheed by the murdered ASI.

Observing that since the murder of a police officer was committed in a brutal manner and there were no mitigating circumstances, the high court dismissed the appeal of the convict and upheld the death sentence awarded to him by the trial court.