SC voids SHC verdict of transferring triple murder case to ATC

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday annulled the Sindh High Court (SHC) order of transferring the Mehar triple murder case to an anti-terrorism court (ATC).

A three-member SC bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam announced the verdict, which was reserved on May 29 on an appeal in the open court.

The petitioner, Advocate Umme Rubab Chandio, had sought transfer of the case pertaining to murder of her father, uncle and grandfather allegedly by two former members of Sindh Assembly, from the ATC to the ordinary court.

The 31-page judgment authored by Justice Yahya Afridi stated: “This petition for leave to appeal is hereby converted into appeal, and the appeal is allowed in terms that the judgment dated 21.02.2019 passed by the bench of Sindh High Court at Sukkur in Criminal Miscellaneous Application No. D-998 of 2018 is hereby set aside, and the order of the Anti-Terrorism Court dated 13-11-2018 is restored.”

“In regard to the contention of the counsel to delay the decision of the transfer of the case till evidence is recorded in the case, we are not convinced to agree therewith. Once we conclude that ATC had legally requisite material available to decide the issue of transfer of the case, and that the decision so taken was legally correct to hold that it lacked jurisdiction to try the case, it would against the cardinal principle of safe administration of criminal justice to then clog the authority vested in the ATC under section 23 to transfer the case or for that matter direct it to proceed with the trial.”

The Sindh High Court (SHC) in February 2020 had ordered hearing of the Mehar triple murder case by an anti-terrorism court.

Umme Rubab’s father Mukhtiar Chandio, grandfather Karamullah Chandio and paternal uncle Kabil Chandio were gunned down on January 17, 2018, within the remit of Faridabad police station, Mehar taluka of Dadu district.

Umm-e-Rubab is pursuing the case of her slain family members by herself.

Pakistan People’s Party MPAs Nawab Sardar Ahmed Chandio and his brother Nawab Burhan Khan Chandio were nominated in the triple murder case last year in January but were granted a pre-arrest bail from the court.