–Bench comprising CJP, Justice Khosa and three other judges will start hearing case from Dec 5
–PAT chief tells court that case has ‘gone to zero’ since indictment of former IG Sukhera
LAHORE: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday constituted a larger bench for setting up a new Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to investigate the Model Town case.
A two-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar heard the petition filed by Bisma Amjad, who was affected by the incident.
The larger bench comprises CJP Nisar, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and three other judges will start hearing the case from December 5.
As the hearing began, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri, who was present in the court, stated that the case has “gone to zero” since the indictment of former Punjab IG Mushtaq Sukhera.
Qadri requested the court to form a new JIT to probe the incident.
Meanwhile, Advocate Azam Nazir Tarrar, the legal counsel of former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif and others, said that more time was needed for preparing their arguments.
On Saturday, the apex court issued notices to 139 individuals, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in a case filed by PAT.
At least 14 people were killed and 100 others injured in police action against Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers in Lahore’s Model Town area during an ‘anti-encroachment operation’ on June 17, 2014.
MODEL TOWN REPORT:
On Dec 5, 2017, the Punjab government released the Model Town inquiry tribunal report after three years following a Lahore High Court (LHC) directive to make it available for public consumption.
The report, prepared by Justice Baqir Najfi commission, had blamed the provincial government, including then Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif and former law minister Rana Sanaullah, and police for the 2014 incident in which 14 supporters of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) were killed.
As per Justice Najafi’s account, the police did its best to cover up facts regarding who gave orders to open fire on protesters.
“The facts and circumstances of the bloodbath clearly show that the police officers actively participated in the massacre,” stated the report.
The report also criticised members of the Punjab police for their complicity in the incident.
“…no police official from top to bottom, whether actively participated in the operation or not, did utter a single word about the person under whose command the police resorted to firing upon the PAT workers.”
Moreover, the report expressed disappointment over the fact that the Punjab government did not empower the tribunal under Section 11 of the Punjab Tribunals Ordinance, 1959.