A full bench of Lahore High Court sought arguments on the maintainability of petitions against the formation of a new Joint Investigation Team (JIT) by the Punjab government to hold a fresh probe into the 2014 Model Town incident in which at least 14 people were killed and 100 others.
On Tuesday petitioners counsel Azam Nazir Tarar, advanced arguments against the mala fide intention of the government and procedural flaws on its part in issuing the notification of the JIT.
Bench asked the counsel to first make his deliberations on the point of maintainability as all the questions relating to the jurisdiction of the government and procedural shortcomings were subsequent.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti, Justice Aalia Neelum, Justice Syed Shahbaz Ali Rizvi, Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem, Justice Sardar Muhammad Sarfraz Dogar, and Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh on counsel request put off further hearing till October 8.
Earlier the counsel alleged that the government committed fraud with the court by submitting contradictory statements about the constitution of the JIT. He requested to initiate criminal action against Punjab chief minister Usman Buzdar and other government officials for making a wrong statement before the court.
On a court question as to what would be his argument if the government issued a new notification for the new investigation team, Mr. Tarrar replied that there would be legal hurdles in the way of the government to permit reinvestigation. He submitted that the Supreme Court had held in 1986 that the reinvestigation was a tool to distort the investigation.
Petitioner’s counsel also submitted written replies to two applications moved on behalf of the government.
Several police officials facing trial in the private complaint filed by the PAT had filed petitions in 2019 challenging the legality of the new JIT formed by the Punjab government. On these petitions, a full bench on March 22, 2019, had suspended the notification of the JIT.