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Model Town case to be heard on daily basis: SC

15 April, 2018

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The Supreme Court on Saturday ordered an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore to hear the Model Town tragedy case on daily basis and conclude trial of the suspects at the earliest.

While hearing a suo motu case at the Lahore registry, a two-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar also cancelled the leave application of ATC Judge Ijaz Awan.

At least 14 people were killed and 100 others injured in police action against Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers in Lahore’s Model Town area during an ‘anti-encroachment operation’ on June 17, 2014. The case against police and civil administration officials has been pending before the ATC. A private complaint filed by Idara Minhajul Quran, a sister organisation of the PAT, is also pending adjudication before the trial court.

The chief justice ordered the Lahore High Court to wind up pending cases regarding 2014 Model Town incident within two weeks. The apex court further ordered that Justice Ali Baqar Najafi’s report into the deadly clashes between police and followers of Tahir-ul-Qadri will become part of the court’s records. He ordered Punjab Advocate General Shakilur Rehman to submit the report to the SC’s Lahore registry.

“We are not going against the law. The people who don’t respect the judges will not get any relaxation,” the chief justice said. “Any extrajudicial measure will not be carried out,” he remarked. He further inquired whether there were any pending orders in the ATC pertaining to Nawaz Sharif or other political leaders.

Earlier, Prosecutor General Lahore presented before the court the record and petitions of Model Town cases being heard in ATC and the Lahore High Court.

Last week, the chief justice had taken suo motu notice of the delay in proceedings in the Model Town incident case after meeting a delegation of the families of the victims at the Lahore registry. The chief justice had summoned record of the case and also sought a report from the advocate general.

A judicial commission formed in 2014 to investigate the incident had in its report declared the provincial government responsible for the tragedy, saying that the police had acted on orders from the higher authorities which led to the bloodshed.

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