Karachi (Agencies): President Mamnoon Hussain has granted pardon to Rangers personnel who had been sentenced to life imprisonment over their involvement in killing of a youth inside a public park in Karachi on June 2011.
The Rangers personnel had killed Sarfarz Shah, 22, considering him a robber out to deprive people in the park of their belongings.
The pardon was granted by the president in exercise of his powers under Article 45 of the Constitution.
Footage of the killing was filmed by a cameraman from a private TV channel who was at the park to cover an event. The video which was later aired by all news channels sparked widespread public outrage.
On August 12, 2011, an anti-terrorism court in Karachi handed death penalty to a Ranger trooper Shahid Zafar for the ‘extrajudicial’ murder and life imprisonment to five others.
However, the convicts challenged the decision in the Sindh High Court (SHC), which rejected the appeal in January 2014 and retained the death sentence and life imprisonment for everyone, except Lance Naik Liaquat Ali.
Later, the convicts filed appeals in the SHC against their conviction, requesting the court to set aside the ATC judgement.
However, the appellant bench of the SHC rejected the appeals on January 21, 2104 and upheld the ATC ruling of sentencing Shahid Zafar to death after finding him guilty of pulling the trigger.
But in August 2014, the Supreme Court commuted the death penalty awarded to Shahid Zafar when his family appeared before the court and told them that the victim’s family had reached a compromise with them. Later, the court commuted the sentence to life imprisonment.