Monday, October 3, 2022

Govt assures formation of new JIT to probe Model Town incident


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday winded up a petition in the Model Town case after the government assured the apex court to form new joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the incident, ARY News reported.

The larger bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar conducted its hearing to decide whether petition for formation of new joint investigation team was admissible. The bench comprised Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Azmat Saeed, Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Mazhar Alam Mian.

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

After conclusion of arguments today, the court said the government wants to constitute a new probe body under the law.

“I am thankful to the Supreme Court that has upheld the supremacy of justice,” said Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Dr. Tahirul Qadri after the court winded up his plea.

He said it had now proven that justice was inevitable if one approached the court.

“I hope a transparent and fair investigation will be conducted after the formation of new JIT”, he said before the court.

Earlier during the hearing, Dr. Tahirul Qadri informed the Supreme Court that the lawyers hired by his party, to plead the Model Town case, have surrendered.

Dr. Qadri thanks Supreme Court

Dr. Qadri told the court that four years had passed pacifying the families of people killed during the Model Town incident in Lahore in 2014.

The chief justice said: ‘You should have first approached this court, before staging a sit-in’. “The people whom you had been visiting were not superior than judiciary.”

Justice Nisar told Dr. Qadri that, “you did not approach the relevant officials for probe.”

“The creation of larger bench has given hopes to the families of the victims”, replied Dr. Qadri.

Chief justice asked Dr. Qadri about the number of witnesses who have recorded their statements in the case. The PAT chief responded that “23 witnesses, out of total 157, have recorded their statements so far.”

He said it was essential to determine the reasons that caused the violent incident and over a dozen people lost their lives in it.

Counsel of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif also appeared before the court and informed that none of the PAT leaders turned up before the JIT, which also had the members of the intelligence agencies.

As many as 146 persons including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, former chief minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif, Rana Sanaullah, Khawaja Asif and Chaudhry Nisar have been served notices in the case.

The Supreme Court on Nov 19 had ordered constitution of a five-member larger bench to hear a petition seeking new JIT to probe the Model Town incident.

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 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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