Pakistan

Punjab govt asked to explain reason for not releasing Model Town inquiry report

Lahore high court

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court Friday issued notice to the provincial authorities to submit their response on a petition seeking the release of a report of judicial inquiry carried out by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi into the killings of Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s workers.

Qaisar Iqbal and 19 other victims of the incident have 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.

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.

After hearing initial arguments, the court issued a notice to the government to explain as to whether the inquiry report carried out by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi was a public or private document.

The hearing was adjourned till Sept 12.

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.

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