'Unnecessary' ATA sections resulted in Shahzeb murder case acquittals.

ISLAMABAD -- The Supreme Court, which acquitted Shahrukh Jatoi - who was convicted for the Dec 2012 murder of 20-year-old Shahzeb Khan in Karachi - held on Monday that the case against the accused did not attract provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

'There was no design or purpose of destabilising the government, disturbing the society or hurting a section of the society with a view to achieve objectives which are essentially political, ideological or religious, therefore, provisions of the ATA were not applicable in the present case,' said a 17-page detailed order.

As a result, the court set aside the May 13, 2019 Sindh High Court (SHC) order and accepted the defendant's appeals.

Headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan, a three-judge SC bench, while hearing appeals of Shahrukh Jatoi and co-accused Nawab Siraj Ali, Nawab Sajjad Ali and Ghulam Murtaza on Oct 18, 2022, had ordered the acquittal of all the accused.

Editorial: Questionable acquittal

Authored by Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, the detailed order released on Monday also contained directions to release the acquits from jail forthwith if not required or detained in any other case.

Referring to the conviction of the appellant Shahrukh Jatoi under Section 13(e) of the Arms Ordinance, admittedly the empties (spent bullet casings) from the scene of the crime were firstly sent to Forensic Science Laboratory on Dec 31, 2012, but subsequently they were taken back...

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