SC directs Punjab govt to constitute new JIT in Model Town case

SC directs Punjab govt to constitute new JIT in Model Town case

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court ordered the Punjab government to constitute a fresh Joint Investigation Team (JIT) for probing the Model Town incident.

A five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar heard a petition filed by Bisma Amjad, the daughter of a woman who was killed along with 13 others in the Model Town incident and wrapped up the case after getting assurance from the Punjab government regrading setting up the new JIT.

At least 100 were also injured in police action against Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers during an 'anti-encroachment operation' in Lahore's Model Town area on June 17, 2014.

During the course of proceedings, PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri pleaded before the bench that the trial had now come back to zero after constitution of the larger bench and the victims were hopeful about getting justice.

He said the case had not been properly investigated till date. Neither the statement of any victim was recorded nor anyone from the PAT appeared before the JIT, he added.

The PAT chief said the Model Town victims wanted a new JIT to probe the case as they did not have trust in the one formed by the last Punjab government.

The CJP observed that the court would like to assess whether the JIT formed by the last government was independent or not.

The defence counsel, however, adopted the stance that the JIT comprised members of agencies.

The CJP asked the Punjab's Advocate General Ahmed Awais about the provincial government's stance on the matter.

He observed that "You may go and constitute the JIT", when Ahmed Awais responded that the Punjab government had no objection on the formation of new one.

Addressing Dr Tahirul Qadri, the CJP observed that he should have approached the apex court earlier, but instead he had paralysed everything along with the court through his protests.

The court subsequently ordered the Punjab government to form a new JIT to to probe the case afresh. It also directed that the statements of remaining witnesses must be recorded.