Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday ordered the retrial of the Shahzeb Khan case in a sessions court after revoking the punishments given by the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC). The ATC issued a death penalty to Shahrukh Jatoi after he was found guilty of Shahzeb Khan’s murder. However, a review application was filed by the lawyer of Shahrukh Jatoi, Advocate Farooq H. Naek, in August 2016. His argument was that the murder happened out of animosity and should not have been tried in the ATC court. At the same time, they believe that he was a juvenile at the time of the murder and should be treated like that by the law as well.

This decision comes five years after the actual verdict of the ATC and the victim’s family has been waiting for justice during this entire period. The family of the accused did issue an official pardon request but it has not been accepted by the ATC till now. SHC’s decision to revoke the earlier decision and open up the case in the trial court looks, at this point, as an attempt to help the accused go home scot free. It is a continuation of the elite culture, which helps protect the elite and a lot of innocent victims end up not getting justice their entire lives.

Social media is aghast after the news, and rightly so. The accused’s family has used all the resources to save their child from the rightful punishment in the case. And the accommodation by the court only sets the precedent that the influential in the country can get away with anything because they amass so much power. If Shahrukh Jatoi has been found guilty of the murder, there is no point in opening the case in a sessions court. The trial will take long and justice will become a far stretched idea.