Chief Justice (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday came down hard on doctors who had prepared a medical report for Shahrukh Jatoi, the prime suspect in the Shahzeb Khan murder case, even making an unannounced visit to the Jinnah Hospital to see for himself how the hospital was running its affairs.
Hours later, he also ordered former provincial minister Sharjeel Inam Memon to be returned to jail from a medical facility he is being kept in.
An accountability court in Karachi had on Thursday indicted Memon and 11 others in a corruption case pertaining to the award of advertisements at ‘exorbitant rates’ through the abuse of power.
Shahrukh Jatoi’s report — prepared by the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and read out in court by the Inspector General of Sindh’s Prison Police, Nusrat Magan — had clearly not satisfied the CJP, who questioned the standards of the medical institute and decided to pay it an unannounced visit.
Justice Nisar had last week taken notice of Jatoi’s shifting to the JPMC from Karachi’s Central Jail following an alleged deterioration in his medical condition just a week after the SC set aside bail granted to him by the Sindh High Court.
Hospital sources had told Dawn that the young Jatoi underwent a medical check-up for a “health-related complaint” and was “advised” hospitalisation.
However, there was no word from police and health authorities as to the nature of the illness being faced by Jatoi — who is in his early 20s. The Executive Director of the JPMC, Dr Seemin Jamali, had said at the time that the information was not being divulged “to protect the patient’s privacy”.
Jatoi was among three accused in the Shahzeb Khan murder case — Siraj Talpur and Sajjad Talpur being the other two — who had been arrested after the SC revoked their bails earlier this month. The fourth accused, Ghulam Murtaza Lashari, a servant of the Talpurs, had already been in jail.
The three accused, who were arrested from the apex court’s premises in Islamabad earlier this month, were later brought to Karachi.
Before he was released on bail in December 2017, Jatoi had spent nearly two-and-a-half months at JPMC, where he was reportedly “undergoing treatment”. The hospital had been declared a sub-jail for the murder accused.
Case back in court
A three-judge bench headed by the chief justice had on February 1 set aside a Sindh High Court (SHC) decision to remand the Shahzeb murder case back to a criminal court for a de novo trial after anti-terrorism charges against the accused were removed.
The SC had also revoked the bails granted to the accused.
The apex court was seized with a joint appeal moved by 10 civil society activists challenging the Nov 28, 2017 SHC order to set aside anti-terrorism charges in the case.
However, the SC converted the appeals into a suo motu case under Article 184(3) of the Constitution with a directive to the court office to assign a proper case number to the petitions.
Shahzeb Khan, the son of Aurangzeb Khan, a deputy superintendent police, was shot dead in Karachi on the night between Dec 24 and 25, 2012 when he was returning home after attending a wedding ceremony with his sister in the Country Club Apartments Karachi.
In Dec 2012, Shahrukh Jatoi had fled the country but had to be brought back on the orders of the SC. Jatoi and co-accused Siraj Talpur were sentenced to death by the anti-terrorism court. Sajjad Talpur and Ghulam Murtaza were handed life imprisonment for their involvement in the murder.
Subsequently, the convicts filed an appeal in the SHC which annulled anti-terrorism clauses in the case and referred it back to the district and sessions court of Karachi’s South district.
The district and sessions court on Dec 23, 2017, ordered the release of Jatoi and the other accused after Shahzeb’s father submitted an affidavit requesting the approval of Jatoi’s bail and dropping of the case as he had pardoned his son’s killer in the name of Allah.