Karachi: ATC will continue to hear Sarfraz killing case
KARACHI: The Anti-Terrorism Court will continue to proceed with the trial of the Sarfraz Shah killing case as the Sindh High Court on Wednesday disposed of the application of accused Afzal for shifting of the trial from the ATC to a sessions court and allowed the applicant’s counsel to raise the question of jurisdiction before the trial court at the time of final arguments.
A division bench headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed at length heard the arguments of the applicant’s counsel, Advocate Syed Mehmood Alam Rizvi, and Sindh Prosecutor General Shahadat Awan.
Advocate Rizvi stated that he would be satisfied if he was allowed to raise the question of jurisdiction in the trial court. The prosecutor general had no objection to the request of the applicant’s counsel.
The bench ordered: “We, therefore, dispose of the Criminal Review Application along with pending applications by allowing the counsel for the applicant to raise the question of jurisdiction before the learned trial court at the time of final arguments.” The defence counsel had earlier moved the application in the trial court for the transfer of the case to a sessions court.
The trial court judge dismissed the application and later one of the defendants moved the SHC against the trial court order. Prosecution side closed
DIG Sultan Khawaja, the investigation officer appointed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the Sarfraz Shah killing case, on Wednesday deposed in the trial court that the accused persons had no intention, preparation or design to commit terrorism.
He also stated that there was no pre-determined planning and intention by the accused to kill the victim. However, he said, there was no need to open fire on the victim.
While being cross-examined by the defence counsel, he stated that it was correct that the Rangers had been deputed to maintain law and order in the city.
In response to a question posed by a defence lawyer, the police officer stated that the law enforcers were trained to be protectors of citizens, composed and intelligent in action.
The presiding officer of the Anti-Terrorism Court No 1 put off the hearing to Thursday when the statements of the accused persons will be recorded as the prosecution closed its side with the conclusion of cross-examination of the investigation officer, who was the 20th and last witness for the prosecution.
Sub–Inspector Bahaur Rehman, Lance Naik Liaquat Ali, Constables Mohammad Tariq, Manthar Ali, Shahid Zafar and Afzal Khan of the Sindh Rangers and a civilian contractor, Afsar Khan, have been charged with the murder of Sarfraz Shah, who was shot at and then left to die inside a public park in Clifton on June 8. The murder was filmed by a private TV channel cameraman and the footage was shown by various TV channels.
The Rangers team and the civilian contractor were booked under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 36 (effect caused partly by act and partly by omission) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
Advocates Shaukat Hayat, M.R. Syed and Naimat Ali Randhawa, appearing for the Rangers personnel, and Amir Ahmed for accused Afsar Khan, cross-examined DIG Khawaja on Wednesday.
In response to a question raised by Advocate M.R. Syed, he said it was correct that SI Bahaur Rehman and Liaquat were not named in the FIR and no names of eyewitnesses were mentioned in the FIR.