Model Town incident: SC to hear case tomorrow

ISLAMABAD: A five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising of Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Azmat Saeed, Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Mazhar Alam Mian will hear the Model Town case tomorrow (December 5).

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In this regard, the top court has also forwarded notices to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders, who were in the government – both provincial and centre – when the clash between Punjab police and PAT workers took place.

The apex court has served notices to PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, the then Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif and other senior leaders, including Hamza Shehbaz, Saad Rafique, Chaudhry Nisar, Pervez Rashid, Khawaja Asif, Abid Sher Ali and Rana Sanaullah.

On November 19, Supreme Court (SC) had constituted a larger bench for the formation of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in Model Town carnage case.

On June 17, 2014, at least 14 people were killed and 100 others injured in police action against Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers in Lahore’s Model Town area during an ‘anti-encroachment operation’.

ORIGIN:

The Punjab government, at the behest of the Lahore High Court, had made the report of the Model Town incident public on December 5, 2017.

The inquiry report, prepared by Justice Baqir Najfi commission, said that police tried to cover up the facts regarding who gave orders to open fire on protesters.

It adds that no legal opinion was sought from the Punjab advocate general prior to the start of the operation.

The commission, in its report, also stated that on the ground, the standoff continued the whole night, resulting in minor injuries to police constables as well as PAT workers.

The commission observed: “The level of cooperation in digging out the truth is that no police official from top to bottom, whether actively participated in the operation or not, did utter a single word about the person under whose command the police resorted to firing upon the PAT workers.”

Further, in its conclusion, the commission said, “It is shocking to note that everyone has deliberately but unsuccessfully tried to cover each other from possible adverse legal effects.”

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