KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday appointed Justice Salahuddin Panhwar to overlook the joint investigation team (JIT) formed to probe May 12 riots.
On September 29, Sindh government on the directives of SHC had constituted a JIT to reinvestigate the May 12 case and submit its report within 2 weeks to Sindh High Court. It recalled that at least 50 persons including lawyers were killed in the firing by workers of political parties.
The court, which had earlier reserved its decision on a plea to reopen the 65 pending cases — most of which were declared ‘A Class’ (proceedings in the case frozen with the approval of the court) — had ordered the reopening of the case, while announcing its verdict.
Earlier on June 20, the SHC had constituted a fresh bench to conduct hearing in the May 12 riots case after the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan had ordered to do so.
Irked by the absence of court facilitators in the high court, SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Sheikh had constituted a two-member special bench comprising Justice KK Agha and Justice Iqbal Kalhoro to further the proceedings.
During the hearing, Sindh police had appraised the court that at least 54 first information reports (FIR) pertaining to the tragedy have been registered in police stations across Karachi. However, the high court rejected the report and sought a report from the Legal DIG and the concerned authorities by June 22
The petition, filed by Iqbal Kazmi, nominated former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London (MQM-London) founder Altaf Hussain, former interior minister and then Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar in the events that unfolded in the port city on May 12, 2007.
Petitioner claimed that MQM-P wreaked havoc in Karachi on the directives of General (r) Musharraf to prevent former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry from arriving into the city and addressing the legal fraternity.
More than 50 people were killed and hundreds were injured in Karachi when miscreants attacked people going to the airport to receive the then-deposed chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi ahead of a lawyers’ gathering.