Punjab government on Tuesday released the full report of the judicial inquiry carried out into the 2014 Model Town incident, ARY News reported.
Earlier in the day, a larger bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected its petition, challenging a single bench’s decision to release the report of the judicial inquiry carried out into the Model Town incident.
It directed the government to make the report public within 30 days and provide a copy of the report to the victims of the Model Town incident.
The full bench comprising Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh, Justice Syed Shahbaz Ali Rizvi, and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin had earlier on November 24 reserved the verdict on an intra-court appeal filed by the provincial government through which it challenged the decision of the single bench that called for making the report public.
The single bench comprising Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi had allowed a petition filed by the victims of the incident on Sept 21, directing the government to release the report.
The provincial government’s lawyer argued before the bench that the matter was sub-judice before a trial court and releasing the report at this juncture will affect and jeopardize the trial, opening a parallel trial in media.
The single bench didn’t fulfill legal requirements while deciding the case and didn’t consider the government’s contention, the government lawyer argued.
He further said the report has become a dead document because it has served its purpose.
On the other side, the counsel of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek argued that the report was a public document and should be declassified. The government has been bound under the Right to Information Act to provide access to such information, he submitted.
Model Town tragedy or the Lahore massacre was a violent clash that ensued between the Punjab Police and Pakistan Awami Tehreek activists on 17 June 2014 resulting in the death of at least 14 people.
The standoff lasted for almost 11 hours when the police′s anti-encroachment squad launched an operation to remove the barriers from the road leading to the offices of Minhaj-ul-Quran and the residence of PAT founder Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri in Model Town, Lahore.