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April 16, 2019

Model Town JIT: LHC requested to withdraw formation of full bench

Lahore

April 16, 2019

The Lahore High Court chief justice has been requested to withdraw formation of a full bench hearing petitions against new Joint Investigation Team (JIT) constituted by the Punjab government to probe 2014 Model Town incident.

Bisma Amjad, who lost her mother in the incident, filed an application to Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan, saying the JIT was constituted in implementation of a Supreme Court’s decision.

The applicant stated that a division bench had been hearing petitions against the new Joint Investigation Team while a three-judge bench was formed on an application moved by one of the petitioners to the chief justice on administrative side. Questioning the formation of the full bench, the applicant said a new member could have been added to existing bench but a new bench could not be formed.

She referred to a judgment of Supreme Court reported in PLD 2019 SC 183. The applicant asked the chief justice to alter the order of constitution of the full bench by keeping the original divisional bench, which had seized with the case.

It is to mention that the full bench headed by Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan had suspended the notification of the new JIT made by the government.

Khurram Rafiq and other police officials, facing trial in the Model Town case, had challenged the legitimacy of the new Joint Investigation Team . Their counsel argued that the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C) and Anti Terrorism Act 1997 did not allow fresh investigation in a case after submission of challan and framing of charges in particular.

They said the Supreme Court in its decision had not ordered constitution of the new JIT but the government itself told the court that it decided to hold a fresh investigation in the case. Later, the government on Jan 3, 2019 formed the impugned Joint Investigation Team in clear violation of settled laws, the lawyers said.

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