LHC reserves verdict on plea for releasing Model Town report
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday reserved its verdict on a petition seeking release of a report of the judicial inquiry carried out by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi into the killings of Pakistan Awami Tehreek workers in Model Town.
Qaisar Iqbal and 19 other victims of the incident had gone to the court requesting it to order the provincial government to release the report under Article 19(A) of the Constitution which gave them right to have access to information.
A bench of LHC reserved the verdict after hearing arguments of the petitioners’ counsel and the provincial law officer.
When asked why was the report withheld, the government’s lawyer said releasing it would serve no useful purpose.
To which, the bench observed if the victims of the incident wanted to know who the killers of their loved ones were, how can the government stop them. They have right to know, it added.
The court is likely to announce the verdict on the petition today.
The petitioner’s counsel said Punjab government is obliged under the law to give the report to his clients. Releasing the report would help identify those responsible for the bloodletting and ensure swift dispensation of justice to the victims of the incident, he argued.
The counsel submitted that every Pakistani has right to access to information under the law, despite the fact that the report was not being released to the public, which is a violation of the Constitution.
On July 17, 2014, 14 people were killed and 100 others injured when the police opened fire to scatter protesting PAT workers during an anti-encroachment operation outside the residence of PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri.