–‘Secret’ findings of judicial probe of 2014 carnage can’t be made public at this stage, Justice Ahmed tells parents of martyred students demanding report
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) has directed to provide a copy of the judicial inquiry report on the 2014 Army Public School (APS) attack to the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawed Khan and directed him to ask the government for further instructions in this regard.
The direction came as a two-member bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, heard the proceedings on the suo motu case on Tuesday. During the hearing, the chief justice remarked that “we will not leave those who are responsible for the APS tragedy” as he expressed sympathy with the parents.
The judicial commission, formed to investigate the deadly attack in which over 140 children and school staffers were gunned down, had submitted its report in the apex court on July 9. The commission, according to its spokesperson, had recorded the statements of 101 witnesses and 31 police and other officials of law enforcement agencies for its six-volume report.
The report was presented in the top court during today’s hearing. The parents of martyred students requested the court to provide a copy of the report [to them], to which Justice Ahsan replied that it was a “secret report which could not be given to them yet”.
“We have not read the report ourselves. We will see after the government’s response is received. There can be no contradiction in this. We will take action according to the law and the Constitution,” the chief justice remarked.
“Whatever happened should not have happened,” he said and assured the grieving parents that “carelessness would be dealt with according to the law”.
“There is rule of law in the country […] We will not let go of anyone who was responsible. Parents should have confidence in the judiciary,” he added.
The top court directed the attorney general to ask the government for instructions and brief the SC regarding the next steps.
The case was adjourned for four weeks.
JUDICIAL COMMISSION TO PROBE APS ATTACK:
The judicial inquiry commission was constituted on Oct 12, 2018, by the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on the order of the Supreme Court and it had started functioning on Oct 19, 2018.
Then Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had taken notice of the issue in April 2018 when during his visit to Peshawar several of the parents of the deceased students had approached him. Subsequently, on May 9, 2018, an apex court bench headed by the chief justice ordered conducting of an inquiry into the occurrence through a judicial commission comprising Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Khan of the PHC.