KARACHI(12-2-30130): In Shahzeb murder Case, Shahrukh Jatoi, the prime suspect in a case watched keenly by the public, will now be tried as an adult and not a juvenile for the murder of Shahzeb Khan as he has officially been declared above 18 years of age.
A second set of doctors on the special medical board formed on court orders to determine Jatoi’s age unanimously declared in its report submitted to an anti-terrorism court that he was not a minor as earlier stated.
Consequently, the court ordered the authorities on Monday to escort Jatoi out of the juvenile facility and transfer him to Central Jail.
Jatoi and Siraj Talpur are accused of murdering 20-year-old Shahzeb, the son of a DSP, on December 25, 2012, over a petty dispute in the affluent Defence locality of Karachi.
Dr Toufiq Ahmed, the medical superintendent of Services Hospital, certified the contents of the report on Jatoi’s ossification test. He revealed that the members of the board were of the “unanimous” opinion that his age was above 19 and below 20 years.
Earlier on, the defence had asked for Jatoi to be tried separately from Talpur given that he was declared under-18 at that time.
Defence lawyer Amir Mansoor Qureshi expressed his reservations over the report submitted by the special medical board.
According to him, it was issued under pressure – but he could not define the nature of the pressure on the doctors.
Special Public Prosecutor Abdul Maroof said that the first ossification report issued by a police surgeon, Dr Jalil Qadri, was in fact submitted under pressure and could not be considered authentic.
He alleged that when the accused party failed to win over the special medical board, the suspect’s lawyer raised objections to its report’s authenticity.
The special prosecutor said that since Jatoi has been officially declared over 18 years of age, keeping him at a juvenile facility would not be justified and was not permitted under the law either.
He requested the court to send him to Central Jail, where Talpur was being kept. The court agreed.
Services Hospital’s medical superintendent Dr Toufiq and police surgeon Dr Qadri also appeared in court on Monday to explain themselves in response to show-cause notices issued on February 1.
Dr Toufiq explained that the investigation officer, Mohammad Mubeen, did not visit him at the health facility with Jatoi as the court had ordered. For his part, the officer admitted that he had presented Jatoi before Dr Qadri instead of Dr Toufiq. The court told him to put it in writing.
However, police surgeon Dr Qadri argued that he was the competent authority to issue Jatoi’s age certification, irrespective of court orders.
Investigation officer Mubeen has asked for more time to submit a final charge sheet against the suspects. He was given one week.
Courtesy and Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2013.