–Five-judge SC bench headed by Chief Justice Nisar will take up case on Wednesday
LAHORE: A five-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC) will take up the Model Town carnage case for hearing on Wednesday.
At least 14 people were killed and 100 others injured in police action against Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers in the Model Town area of the city during an “anti-encroachment operation” on June 17, 2014.
In this regard, the top court has also forwarded notices to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders, who were in the government – both provincial and in Centre – when the clash between Punjab police and PAT workers took place.
Among the recipients of the notices are PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, the then Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif and other senior leaders, including Hamza Shehbaz, Saad Rafique, Chaudhry Nisar, Pervez Rashid, Khawaja Asif, Abid Sher Ali and Rana Sanaullah.
Punjab Attorney General Ahmed Awais has also been served a notice.
The apex court bench will be headed Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar.
The former Punjab CM is currently in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Saaf Paani scandal.
On Nov 19, the Supreme Court had constituted a larger bench for the formation of a new joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the Model Town case.
The Punjab government, on the orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC), had made the report of the Model Town incident public on December 5, 2017.
The inquiry report, prepared by Justice Baqir Najfi commission, said that police tried to cover up the facts regarding who gave orders to open fire on protesters.
It adds that no legal opinion was sought from the Punjab advocate general prior to the start of the operation.
The commission, in its report, also stated that on the ground, the standoff continued the whole night, resulting in minor injuries to police constables as well as PAT workers.
“The level of cooperation in digging out the truth is that no police officers 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,” the commission observed.