KARACHI - The Supreme Court on Friday accepted for hearing the appeals challenging Sindh High Court’s (SHC) judgement in Shahzeb Khan murder case.

The appeals have been filed by members of the civil society, including lawyer and rights activist Jibran Nasir, against the SHC’s decision asking the apex court to retry Shahrukh Jatoi and his accomplices in the Shahzeb Khan murder case.

The appeals plead that terrorism charges should not have been removed because the killing of Shahzeb Khan had “created a sense of helplessness and insecurity amongst the people of Defence/Clifton,” as a car chase and shootout took place on a public road in the densely populated area of Defence Housing Authority.

The case will be heard in the SC’s Karachi registry.

All four accused in the case — Shahrukh Jatoi, Siraj Talpur, Sajjad Talpur and Ghulam Mustafa Lashari ─ are on bail and appeared before a district and sessions court earlier Friday in Karachi. The judge also sought the details of a pardon offered to the accused by the victim’s family.

An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) had earlier awarded the death penalty to Shahrukh Jatoi and Siraj Ali Talpur for murdering 20-year-old Shahzeb in 2012 following a dispute. Siraj’s younger brother, Sajjad Ali Talpur, and domestic helper Ghulam Murtaza Lashari had been handed life sentences. However, a couple of months after the sentence was passed, Shahzeb’s parents had issued a formal pardon for the convicts, approved by the SHC.

Despite the pardon, however, the death penalty had been upheld because of the addition of terrorism charges to the case. However, the SHC recently set aside the death penalty and ordered a retrial of the case in a sessions court after a criminal review petition filed by Jatoi’s lawyer argued that terrorism charges should be dropped as the prime suspect was a juvenile at the time of the offence.