ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Thursday ordered arrest of the main culprit, Shahrukh Jatoi, and two others, announcing a verdict on an appeal in Shahzeb murder case.

A group of civil society activists had challenged before the Supreme Court the bail of Shahrukh Jatoi and others granted by the Sindh High Court in Shahzeb murder case.

At least 10 civil society activists, Muhammad Jibran Nasir, Jamshed Raza Mahmood, Afiya Shehrbano Zia, Naeem Sadiq, Nazim Fida Hussain Haji, Zulfiqar Shah, Aquila Ismail, Fahim Zaman Khan and Naziha Syed Ali, filed a criminal petition through renowned lawyer Faisal Siddiqi in the apex court Tuesday, challenging the SHC’s November 28 order wherein it was stated that the murder case does not fall within the ambit of Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

The civil society members pleaded in their petition that they had the legal standing to file the appeal as they were citizens of Karachi and were residing in the same locality where the murder took place.

“The incident spread terror and created fear and panic among residents of the area,” they stated in the petition, which, according to them, was being filed as a public-interest appeal on behalf of the people of Karachi, especially the people of Clifton and Defence, as well as the people of Pakistan, arguing they were left in a state of shock and terror when the November 28 judgment was passed by the SHC. Referring to the order, the petition states that first, a murder appeal was disposed of by the provincial high court in just six pages. Secondly, the family of the deceased did not pursue the appeals pending before the SHC and struck a deal with the murderers.

The petitioners also accused the Sindh prosecutor general, the highest criminal law officer, of flatly conceding to June 7, 2013, ATC judgment, which was a sheer proof of the collusion between the murderers and public officers, especially in view of the past history of this case.

It further states that the order of SHC’s division bench deviated from an earlier and binding judgment of May 15, 2013, which was issued by another division bench of the SHC in the same case and on the same issue.

The petition also states that there are at least two eyewitnesses to the murder, which means overwhelming evidence against the murderers is available.

Shahrukh Jatoi and three other accused in the Shahzeb murder case were freed on bail on Saturday after Aurangzeb Khan, the victim’s father, filed an affidavit in support of the convicts’ bail application in the court.

The complainant, Aurangzeb Khan, appealed to the court to release on bail the four men convicted of his son’s murder. He also requested the court to drop the case filed against them.

District and Sessions Judge (South) Imdad Hussain Khoso allowed the bail pleas of Shahrukh, Siraj Talpur, his younger brother Nawab Sajjad Ali Talpur and their house servant Ghulam Murtaza Lashari against a surety bond of Rs 500,000 each.

The applicants’ lawyers argued the high court had recently removed a relevant section of Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, from the case and sent it for retrial.

While submitting the affidavit, Shahzeb’s father, DSP Aurangzeb Khan, submitted that he and his family members had pardoned all the accused without any pressure, coercion or interest, but “in the name of Allah” and waived the right of Qisas and Diyat.

The affidavit stated that the complainant also had no objection if the court granted them bail or acquitted them.