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Model Town tragedy: SC forms larger bench to hear plea seeking new JIT

LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered constitution of a five-member larger bench to hear a petition seeking new joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the Model Town incident, ARY News reported.

Hearing the case at the apex court’s Lahore Registry today, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said the new larger bench would hear the case from December 5 to examine the plea whether formation of a new JIT needed to process the case.

Religious scholar and chairman Pakistan Awami Tehreek, Dr Tahirul Qadri appeared before the court and said he was not satisfied with the case investigation, claiming that the probe was not transparent. He requested the court to order forming a new probe team to investigate the matter afresh.

Director General National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore, Shehzad Saleem, in an interaction with journalists outside the court, said that Shehbaz Sharif don’t want to appear before the court in the Model Town case and he had given in writing that his lawyer would appear in all hearings on his behalf.

The lawyer of former CM Punjab, in a hearing today, sought a few days from the court to prepare for the case.

Speaking to media, PAT leader Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said his party had complete confidence in the apex court. “Minhajul Quran workers will continue their struggle until they get justice in the Model Town case”, he added.

The apex court had taken notice of the plea of Bisma Amjad, the daughter of Tanzila Amjad who was among those martyred in the Model Town firing incident, on October 6, seeking formation of new investigation team to probe the carnage.

The court, while accepting the petition, had issued notices to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif in the case, as were been made respondents by the petitioner.

The notices were also served to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders including Rana Sanaullah, Hamza Shehbaz, Daniyal Aziz, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Khawaja Asif, Abid Sher Ali and Pervez Rasheed.

The Lahore High Court on September 26 had rejected a petition by Minhajul Quran seeking to nominate Sharif brothers and others as accused in the Model Town incident case.

A three-judge bench had given a majority verdict, rejecting the plea to include Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shehbaz Sharif, former law minister Rana Sanaullah and half a dozen others in the list of the accused nominated in the Model Town case.

Later on Oct 20, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) approached the Supreme Court, challenging the Lahore High Court’s verdict regarding rejection of nomination of Sharif brothers in the Model Town case investigation.

The police assault outside the residence of Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Dr Tahirul Qadri, had killed 14 people including women and injured around 100 on June 17, 2014.

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