LHC orders Punjab govt to make Model Town report public within 30 days


LAHORE : A three-member bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered on Tuesday the Punjab government to release the Model Town inquiry report within 30 days.

The three-member bench of LHC headed by Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh and comprising of Justice Shehbaz Rizvi and Justice Qazi Muhammad Ameen Ahmad dismissed three appeals filed by the Punjab government against the release and ordered to public the report of Justice Baqir Najafi Commission within 30 days.

It has also directed to provide the copies of the report to the heirs of Model Town tragedy victims within three days.

The three-member full bench had reserved the decision on the government’s appeal on November 24.

The Punjab government had filed an intra-court appeal against the September 21 decision of a single-bench ordering the release of the inquiry report, authored by LHC Justice Baqar Najafi.

In its Tuesday’s order, the full-bench directed for an impartial and transparent trial into the Model Town incident.

Following the incident, workers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) began amassing at GPO Chowk near the LHC, chanting favours in their support.

At least 14 people were killed and 100 others injured in police action against PAT workers during an ‘anti-encroachment operation’ on June 17, 2014.

On September 21, Justice Mazahar Ali Naqvi ordered the Punjab home secretary to make public the report on the Model Town killings and provide a copy to the families of those killed and injured in the 2014 incident.

The government, in its appeal against the decision, challenged the jurisdiction of the single bench to give its decision on the report, on the grounds that as many as eight identical petitions on the same matter were already pending before a full bench.

In the appeal, the government said it was neither asked by the single bench to file any reply nor was put on notice on the matter, adding that it was also not given any opportunity to explain its position on the case.

The Punjab government is considering to appeal to the Supreme Court against the decision of LHC. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Zaeem Qadri has said that consultations are underway in the matter.

He maintained that they have two reports of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) related to the incident which should also be taken into consideration. Qadri declared that eliminating Shehbaz Sharif’s politics will remain a wish of PTI.

Advocate General Punjab informed Punjab CM of the court’s decision following which he has summoned Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Home Secretary Azam Suleman Khan.

On the other hand Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed, talking to the media after today’s order, paid tribute to the judiciary for its decision on the Model Town incident.

“We demand the immediate resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Law Minister Rana Sanaullah. After Nawaz, now Shehbaz will go home. I am seeing the end of his politics,” claimed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader.

Orignally published by INP

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