SC directs ATC to conduct daily trial of Model Town case
LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Saturday directed an anti-terrorism court of Lahore to conduct daily hearings of the Model Town case to conclude the trial of suspects in the case at the earliest.
This direction was given by a two-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar. The bench was hearing a suo motu case pertaining to the Model Town incident at the apex court’s Lahore registry.
It further directed the trial court to make Justice Ali Baqar Najafi’s report of a judicial probe into the incident part of the trial proceedings.
The judges directed the Lahore High Court (LHC) to dispose of all pending petitions with regard to the Model Town incident within two weeks.
Last Sunday, the chief justice took notice of the delay in provision of justice to the victims of the 2014 Model Town incident.
The chief justice directed the Punjab government to come up with a report, explaining the reasons behind the delay in dispensation of justice to the people affected by the incident.
Justice Nisar took notice of the matter on the request of the daughter of a woman killed in the incident, who complained that she still awaited justice despite passage of four years.
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”.