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Model Town tragedy: LHC stops new JIT from doing work

Model Town tragedy: LHC stops new JIT from doing work
March 22, 2019
LAHORE (92 News) – The Lahore High Court (LHC) has stopped the new joint investigation team (JIT) from probing into the Model Town tragedy. The court also suspended the notification issued by the Punjab chief secretary. Justice Qasim Khan, who headed the three-member bench, wrote a dissenting note in the case. The court issued a notice to the Punjab government seeking a reply in this regard. Before the verdict, Advocate General Punjab Ahmed Awais expressed his distrust with the bench. The court ruled that the verdict will be announced despite AG Punjab’s distrust, asking him to challenge the verdict at an appropriate forum. The AG Punjab also staged a walkout. He said that it was first time in the history of the court that the AG Office had not been informed about the important case. “My name was not on the supplementary list. It is an important matter. After a long period, the supplementary list had been issued immediately. Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmed ordered the AG Punjab to speak in a low tone and warned of contempt notice. “Do you want to pressurize the court by speaking loudly?” he questioned. The bench announced the reserved verdict on the two applications of Inspector Rizwan Gondal against the JIT.
JIT records statement of Nawaz Sharif
On Wednesday, the joint investigation team probing into the Model Town tragedy afresh recorded the statement of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Kot Lakhpat Jail. The team led by AD Khawaja remained in the jail for over two hours. It questioned Nawaz Sharif about the Model Town tragedy. He was also questioned about the steps taken by him after the tragedy as the chief executive. The JIT had already recorded the statement of former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif. Earlier, Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik had allowed the JIT to investigate Nawaz Sharif. Punjab Police DSP Muhammad Iqbal had filed an application seeking permission to investigate Nawaz Sharif.
Shehbaz, Hamza & others refuse to appear before JIT
Earlier, former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif, his son Hamza Shehbaz, former law minister Rana Sanaullah and other Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leaders had refused to appear before new joint investigation team (JIT) in the Model Town case. According to the reports, the new JIT summoned Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz, former law minister Rana Sanaullah, Abid Sher Ali, Khwaja Asif, Pervaiz Rashid and Chaudhry Nisar. Meanwhile, the new JIT could not complete the investigation report over Model Town case due to the non-cooperation of the political figures. The probe team also issued notice former personal secretary to CM and others to appear before the probe team and record their statement. Additional IG Iqbal Hasan Shah – who is convener of the JIT – had issued summons to the aforementioned political figures. The JIT has formally begun its investigation into the Model Town incident that had claimed over a dozen lives. It is worth mentioning here that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Khawaja Saad Rafique were also nominated in the case filed by Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT).