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April 20, 2019

LHC extends stay against JIT in Model Town case


April 20, 2019

LAHORE: A full bench of the Lahore High Court Friday extended the suspension of new Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by the PTI Punjab government to probe into Model Town 2014 killings.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan also granted 15-day time to the Punjab government to file its reply after new Advocate General Punjab Ahmad Jamal Sukhera sought time.

During the hearing, Justice Qasim Khan declined AGP’s request for a longer time and remarked, “We don't want to drag this case. The Punjab government had already sought time again and again in the case.” Earlier, the counsel of Constable Khurram Rafiq and others had argued before the court that after submission of the report of the first JIT another probe could not be conducted under the law. He pleaded to the court to declare the decision of the government void.

Pakistan Awami Tehreek counsel Azhar Siddique said we have filed a petition against the bench at administrative level, challenging the constitution of full bench that suspended new JIT. He argued that formation of new JIT for Model Town killings was according to the law.

The court extended its order to JIT to stop probe until April 30. The new JIT was constituted on January 3 this year for a fresh probe into the 2014 Model Town carnage, following a notification issued by the Punjab chief secretary.

The LHC ordered the new JIT to stop the probe and suspended the notification of its constitution. On June 17, 2014, Punjab police went to remove the barriers placed outside PAT Chief Dr Tahirul Qadri’s residence and Minhajul Quran Secretariat in Model Town. The workers resisted the move which led to a deadly clash leaving 14 people dead and dozens injured.

Court moved: A writ petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) challenging removal of Amjad Javed Saleemi from the post of inspector general of police, Punjab. The petitioner, Usama Khawar, through his lawyer Rehman Aziz stated that the tenure of the IG post was three years according to the Police Order 2002, but Saleemi was transferred after six months.

“The government has changed three IGs in Punjab within short span of 8 months”, the plea read. Under the principle laid down by the Supreme Court, an officer could not be transferred before three years without having solid reasons to do so.

The court has been requested to set aside the appointment of Capt (retired) Arif Nawaz as IG and restore Amjad Saleemi to the office. Earlier on Monday, the federal government had removed IG Amjad Javed Saleemi from his post.

The Establishment Division directed him to report to the Establishment Division and appointed Arif Nawaz new head of the provincial police force. Arif Nawaz Khan was serving as Federal Narcotics Control Secretary before his appointment as IG.

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