Karachi: Transfer of murder case to ATC sought
KARACHI: A sessions court was requested on Wednesday to transfer a case pertaining to the killing of five members of a family to an anti–terrorism court on the grounds that the incident had sowed fear and insecurity in society and fell within the ambit of the anti-terror law. The five members of a family — Arif Yousuf, 68, his wife Zainab Bibi, 60, their son Zubair Arif, 30, and his wife Aliya, 30, and their 14-year–old daughter Rida — were stabbed to death in their Askari III residence within the remit of the Saddar police station in February this year.
Mohammad Ishaq, said to be a former driver of the slain family, has been booked and arrested in the case.
The court provided him a lawyer on state expenses on Wednesday since on a previous hearing he informed the judge that it was not possible for him to engage a counsel for his defence because of his poor financial situation. Additional District and Sessions Judge (south) Javed Ahmed Keerio, who is conducting the trial in the judicial complex (central prison), was set to indict the suspect on Wednesday when the complainant, through his counsel, requested the court to defer the indictment and submitted an application for the transfer of the case.
The applicant submitted that all the family members, including an underage girl, were brutally murdered, which created terror, fear and insecurity among people and society and thus the offence fell within the ambit of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
He further submitted that the investigation officer had wrongly submitted the case in a regular court and prayed to shift the case to an ATC for trial.
The court deferred the indictment and issued notices to the public prosecutor and defence counsel for Aug 6.
A case (FIR 62/12) was registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 397 (robbery or dacoity with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt) of the Pakistan Penal Code on a complaint of a relative of the deceased family.
The police arrested the suspect on March 7 and also claimed to have recovered the crime weapon and stolen articles on a lead given by the suspect, who also recorded his confessional statement before a magistrate.