Friday September 24, 2021

Fresh probe into Model Town incident: LHC resumes hearing against formation of new JIT

September 15, 2021
Fresh probe into Model Town incident: LHC resumes hearing against formation of new JIT

LAHORE: A larger bench of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday resumed hearing petitions against the formation of a new Joint Investigation Team (JIT) by the Punjab government for a fresh probe into the 2014 Model Town incident.

As the bench headed by Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti started proceedings, Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar and Barrister Syed Ali Zafar appeared on behalf of the petitioners and the families of the victims respectively.

Chief Justice Bhatti observed that the bench would hear the petitions afresh as he was not part of the bench previously hearing the matter. Tarar requested the bench to hear the case on a daily basis for three days as he is scheduled to visit Moscow as an election observer on September 17.

The bench initially asked Barrister Zafar to start his arguments on the point of the maintainability of the petitions. However, the bench later decided to hear arguments of Advocate Tarar on the question of the maintainability. To different queries of the bench’s members, Tarar said the affectees of the incident had not joined the proceedings before the first JIT made by the police. He said the trial proceedings came to a halt after the Pakistan Awami Party (PAT) filed a private complaint before the trial court. He said the suspects/petitioners were indicted in the private complaint on April 12, 2018 and 86 witnesses have testified so far.

The counsel said the application filed by Bisma Amjad, daughter of a deceased woman, before the Supreme Court had no prayer for the formation of a new JIT. However, he said, the government undertook before the court to constitute a new JIT, which was notified on January 3, 2019.

He argued that the criminal law and the anti-terrorism law have no provision for fresh investigations into an incident. The bench would resume hearing on Wednesday (today). Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan, Justice Aalia Neelum, Justice Syed Shahbaz Ali Rizvi, Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem, Justice Sardar Muhammad Sarfraz Dogar and Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh are the other members of the bench.