Model Town tragedy: SC orders LHC to decide case stopping new JIT from probe in 3 months
February 13, 2020
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed has ordered the Lahore High Court (LHC) to decide the case stopping the new joint investigation team (JIT) from doing work within three months. The CJ remarked that there should be no hurdles in the decision. He ordered the LHC chief justice to form a bench over the matter. Justice Ejazul Hassan remarked that what the JIT will do if the case is being tried. “Should the LHC interim order not be withdrawn?” he remarked. He remarked that the people have lost their lives and the case should be decided at the earlier. The court also rejected the Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s (PAT) plea seeking to bar the new JIT from doing work. On April 4, 2019, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had stopped the new JIT from probing into the Model Town tragedy till April 30. During the hearing, LHC had given time to Punjab government to submit reply in the case within 15 days. Justice Qasim Khan, who headed the three-member bench, wrote a dissenting note in the case. The petitioner adopted a stance that the second JIT could not be formed over the same matter again. In the previous hearing, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had appeared before the court for the hearing of a notice issued to Advocate General of Punjab Ahmad Awais for contempt of court regarding formation of new Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in Model Town carnage case. The CM told that Ahmad Awais had resigned as Punjab Attorney General over which Justice Qasim Khan said that AG is province’s higher official. The LHC ordered the new JIT to stop the probe and annulled the notification of its constitution. It has sought a reply from the Punjab government regarding the new JIT. 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. On June 17, 2014, Punjab police went to remove the barriers placed outside PAT Chief Dr Tahirul Qadri’s residence and MQI Secretariat in Model Town. The MQI workers resisted the move which led to a deadly clash, leaving 14 workers dead and dozens injured.