Model Town incident: SC constitutes larger bench to form new JIT

Model Town incident: SC constitutes larger bench to form new JIT

Lahore (Staff Report/Agencies): the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday ordered the formation of a larger bench to establish a joint investigative team (JIT) to probe Model Town incident.

A five-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar heard a petition at SC’s Lahore Registry.

Bisma Amjad, an aggrieved woman of the incident, had filed an application to the chief justice requesting to constitute a new JIT to probe into the killings of innocent workers of the PAT/Idara Minhajul Quran.

On Saturday, the SC, while hearing the case in the Lahore registry, had issued notices to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif and 137 others nominated in a case lodged by PAT regarding the 2014 Model Town incident.

During the hearing, PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri appeared before the bench and said, "Zero progress has been made in our case since former Punjab IG Mushtaq Sukhera was indicted."

Qadri urged that a new JIT be formed to probe into the case again.

On the other hand, Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Dr Tahirul Qadi attending the hearing.

Strict security arrangements were put in place around the Lahore registry of the supreme court ahead of the hearing.

During the hearing, the Director General of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Shahzad Saleem informed the court that the president of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz had decided not to appear in the case.

‘Shehbaz Sharif has assured in written that he would not appear before the bench’ Saleem said and added that Shehbaz’s counsel Azam Nazeer Tarar would appear on his behalf.

After hearing the arguments, the top judge remarked that a larger bench comprising 5 judges would be constituted which would make a decision on a fresh JIT.

‘I, along with Justice Asif Saeed Khosa would be a part of the bench,’ remarked the chief justice.

He remarked that the bench would comprise judges from different provinces and adjourned the hearing till December 5.

At least 14 people were killed and over 100 injured during an ‘anti-encroachment’ operation outside the Model Town residence of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chief Dr Tahirul Qadri on June 17, 2014.