KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday admitted appeals of four convicts against their sentences handed down by Anti-Terrorism Court in Shahzeb murder case for regular hearing, and issued a notice to Prosecutor General Sindh.
A division bench headed by Justice Ghulam Sarwar Korai directed court’s office to call record and proceedings from the trial court and prepare paper book.
Shahrukh Jatoi along with Nawab Siraj Ali Talpur was sentenced to death while Siraj’s brother Nawab Sajjad Ali Talpur and his employee Ghulam Murtaza Lashari were sentenced to life imprisonment by the ATC on June 7 after finding them guilty of murdering a private university student Shahzaib Khan in Defence area on December 24 last year.
The prosecution alleged that Ghulam Murtaza Lashari, an employee of Siraj Talpur, taunted Shahzaib’s sister that resulted in bickering between Shahzaib and Shahrukh Jatoi, Siraj Talpur and others but the matter was resolved on the intervention of Shahzaib’s father Aurangzaib Khan.
According to the prosecution, the accused followed Shahzaib, who left the house in his vehicle after the brawl, and later on the instigation of absconding co-accused Asif Lund and Salman Jatoi, accused Shahrukh Jatoi and Siraj Talpur made murderous assault on Shahzaib with pistols at Khyaban-e-Bahria near Mubarak Masjid due to which Shahzaib succumbed to his injuries at the Ziauddin Hospital.
Prime convict Shahrukh Jatoi, and other convicts filed appeal in SHC challenging their conviction by ATC. They submitted in their appeals that the trial court erred in its judgment by convicting the appellant, saying that the prosecution miserably failed to prove its case beyond any shadow of doubt.
They submitted that there exist glaring contradictions in the statements of prosecution witnesses, which could not be sustained in the eyes of the law as well as the rulings of superior courts. They submitted that the trial court did not consider the material contradiction in the statements of witnesses during the cross examination though such contradiction should have been discarded by the trial court.
They submitted that the eyewitnesses were set up witnesses arranged by the prosecution as their names were not mentioned in the FIR and their presence on the scene of the incident and later shifting of the deceased to hospital was highly doubtful, besides no supporting evidence was produced to prove the trustworthiness of the witnesses.
They prayed the court to set aside the trial court’s order as the prosecution could not establish its case sufficiently, and order the release of the appellant.
It is pertinent to mention here that victim’s family members, his father Aurangzeb Khan, mother Ambreen and sisters Pareshay and Maha later filed their affidavits whereby they pardoned the convicts without any pressure, coercion or interest, but in the name of Allah.