CJP orders ATC to hear Model Town case on daily basis

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LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday directed an accountability court to hear a case pertaining to the Model Town incident on a daily basis.

A two-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Nisar, was hearing a petition pertaining to the Model Town incident at the Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry.

Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri appeared before the bench and requested that the top court constitute an impartial joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the incident.

Justice Nisar informed the PAT chief that on his request he has ordered the ATC to hear the case on a daily basis.

Further, the chief justice told Qadri, “Since your appeal was rejected in the Lahore High Court, you can file it in the Supreme Court.”

Directing the ATC to hear the case on a daily basis, the bench issued notices to the Punjab government, police and prosecution department.

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.

The Punjab government, at the behest of the Lahore High Court, 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 commission observed: “The level of cooperation in digging out the truth is that 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.”

Further, in its conclusion, the commission said, “It is shocking to note that everyone has deliberately but unsuccessfully tried to cover each other from possible adverse legal effects.”

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