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‘Sharifs exemption’: PAT challenges LHC’s Model Town case verdict in top court

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) on Saturday approached the Supreme Court, challenging the Lahore High Court’s verdict regarding rejection of nomination of Sharif brothers in the Model Town case investigation.

A larger bench of the LHC had rejected a petition on September 26 filed by Minhajul Quran seeking to nominate the Sharif brothers and others as accused in the Model Town incident case.

A three-judge bench gave a majority verdict and acquitted former premier Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shehbaz Sharif, former law minister Rana Sanaullah and half a dozen others.

The bench upheld a ruling of an anti-terrorism court that excluded them from the list of the accused nominated in the Model Town case.

Former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz, Rana Sanaullah have been made respondents in the plea of PAT.

SC has been pleaded to void LHC’s verdict in Model Town case, “PML-N killed more than 10 persons in model town under the name of removing encroachments”, PAT contented in plea.

PAT further said in its plea filed in SC that, no notice was served to them, before start of anti-encroachment drive.

On October 23, as many as 116 policemen involved in model town carnage were relieved from their posts. The suspended policemen included DSPs, Inspectors, In-charge investigation and other officials.

The policemen were asked to report to the Police Line.

Four SPs related to the incident were already removed from the field posting.

It is pertinent to mention here that an anti-terrorism court (ATC) Lahore recently indicted former Punjab police chief Mushtaq Sukhera in a case pertaining to the Model Town carnage.

The ex-IG Punjab pleaded not guilty and opted to contest the charges against him.

The Case Background

On July 17, 2014, 14 people were killed and 100 others injured when the police opened fire to disperse protesting PAT workers during an anti-encroachment operation outside the residence of PAT chief Dr. Tahirul Qadri.

The one-man judicial commission formed to probe the 2014 Model Town incident held that the operation planned and designed under the then Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah “could have easily been avoided” and that the “police officers actively participated in the massacre”.

“This tribunal has very carefully seen the CD of the first press conference of Chief Minister Punjab after the incident in which he did not specifically mention about his direction of disengagement. It has become crystal clear that order of disengagement was not passed at all, rather position taken by CM Punjab appears to be an afterthought defence not taken before the nation in the press conference,” says the report.

The commission maintained that it arrived at the conclusion after “putting all facts and circumstances in juxtapositions”.

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