Shahzeb murder case: Fresh test ordered to determine prime suspect’s age
KARACHI, Jan 30: A day after the Supreme Court of Pakistan expressed concerns over attempts being made to declare the prime suspect in the Shahzeb murder case a juvenile, an anti-terrorism court on Wednesday rejected the report of an earlier ossification test of Shahrukh Jatoi that declared him an underage person and ordered a fresh test.
Shahrukh Jatoi, Nawab Siraj Ali Talpur, his younger brother Nawab Sajjad Ali Talpur and their house servant Ghulam Murtaza Lashari have been booked and arrested for allegedly killing 20-year-old Shahzeb in Defence Housing Authority on the night of Dec 24.On an application of the defence counsel, the court had directed the medical superintendent of the Services Hospital to constitute a medical board to conduct an ossification test to determine the age of the prime suspect who according to the defence counsel was an underage person.
However, the report of the ossification test was prepared by a police surgeon and submitted on Jan 26 before the link judge of the ATC-III, Bashir Ahmed Khoso, who had sent Shahrukh to the Youthful Offenders’ Industrial School (juvenile jail) on judicial remand till Jan 29.
When the case came up for hearing before Judge Ghulam Mustafa Memon of the ATC-III on Wednesday, he came down heavily on the investigation officer and asked him as to why the IO handed over the custody of the suspect to the police surgeon when
the court had directed the medical superintendent for the required test.
The IO replied that he had taken the custody of the suspect to the office of the Services Hospital MS, but the latter referred him to the police surgeon.
Subsequently, the court issued show-cause notices to the MS of the Services Hospital and police surgeon Dr Jalil Qadir of the Civil Hospital Karachi for Feb 11 for disobeying and flouting the court orders.
The show-cause notice issued to the medical superintendent said that the court had directed him for the constitution of a medical board for conducting an ossification test to determine the actual age of suspect Shahrukh and produce such a report on Jan 23 in court. But the age certificate issued by the police surgeon on the basis of the report of a professor of radiology was submitted in court, it added.
“Whereas, neither you have constituted any medical board for determination of age of the accused nor submitted the report.
Your said act indicates negligence and gross misconduct on your part,” it stated.
Therefore, the court directed the Services Hospital MS to constitute a medical board for the ossification test and produce a report in court on or before Feb 11 and also ordered him to appear on the same date and explain as to why legal action should not be taken against him for disobeying the court orders.
The show-cause notice issued to the police surgeon reads: “Neither you were directed for constitution of medical board nor report was summoned from you through reference letter by this court, but you while excessing your powers issued such certificate dated 21-01-13, thereby, flouted the legal orders of this court”.
The court directed him to appear on Feb 11 and explain under whose directions and under what capacity he had issued the age certificate as the same ought to have been issued by the medical board and to submit his explanation as to a why legal action should not be taken against him.
Meanwhile, jail authorities produced the suspects in court on Wednesday while the IO sought more time for submission of the charge-sheet and the court granted him 10 days.
According to the prosecution, the victim had an altercation with the suspects since they tried to tease his sister and later the
issue was settled by some elders, but Siraj, Shahrukh, Sajjad and their accomplices killed the victim by opening indiscriminate fire on his vehicle on the night of Dec 24 in Defence Housing Authority’s Phase V.
Initially, the case (FIR 591/12) was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 109 (abetment) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code with the Darakhshan police station on a complaint of deceased’s father Aurangzeb, a deputy superintendent of police.
However, during the investigation, Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modestly) of the PPC and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 were incorporated in the FIR.
The police also booked Shahrukh in another case (FIR 32/13) under Section 13-E of the Pakistan Arms Ordinance, 1965 since
the police claimed that they had recovered a vehicle and an unlicensed 9mm pistol used in the commissioning of the offence on a lead provided by the suspect.
Asif Lund and Salman Jatoi were shown absconders in the report.
FIA seeks custody of Shahrukh
An inspector of the Federal Investigation Agency filed an application in court seeking custody of Shahrukh for interrogation in a case (FIR 26/2013) registered against him under Sections 419 (punishment for cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and
dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 109 (abetment) of the PPC read with Sections 3, 4 and 6(i) of the Passport Act with the Anti-Human Trafficking Cell of the FIA.
The FIA registered a case against him for his alleged illegal departure from Pakistan to Dubai despite the fact that his name was on the exit control list. The court said that the IO was at liberty to take the custody of the suspect in question. Therefore, the superintendent of the juvenile jail was directed to facilitate the IO in this regard. If the IO wanted the custody of the suspect for investigations, he may produced him before a magistrate for proper remand, it added.