Supreme Court forms five-member larger bench decides New JIT: Model Town Case

Five-member bench includes Chief Justice Saqib Nisar

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The Supreme Court formed a five-member larger bench on Tuesday to decide on a legal point of whether a new joint investigation team (JIT) could be designed at the present stage of trial pendent adjudication in the Model Town case.

The five-member bench includes Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel.

Notices have been allotted to 146 individuals including the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Hamza Shahbaz, PML-N’s Rana Sanaullah, the Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar, the former foreign minister Khawaja Asif on behalf of the apex court.

The larger bench would begin hearing the case from Wednesday; on November 19th Justice Nisar announced constituting a large bench of the Supreme Court.

A woman affected by the incident, named Bisma Amjad had filed a petition requesting to constitute a new JIT to investigate the killings of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers in the incident.

The Model Town incident

On 17th June 2014, 14 people were killed and 100 others wounded after police launched an assault on PAT supporters gathered outside the dwelling of Tahirul Qadri in Model Town Lahore.

A subsequent judicial investigation report on the occurrence was pointed fingers at then Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah and the Punjab police for what had emerged that day.

It is understandable from reading of the conclusions of Justice Baqar Najafi’s report; that why the provincial government fought tooth and nail to prevent its release.

It is also comprehensible why its publication was headed by a lengthy press conference by Rana Sanaullah in which he sought to highlight the report’s flaws, including what he called its reliance on “secondary evidence” and it, consequently having no legal status whatever.

He kept referring to it as ‘faulty’ and the Punjab government made sure that the Justice Najafi’s report was convoyed online by a one-man committee’s report on a review of its flaws.

Describing the chronology of the proceedings; Justice Najafi reported that then Punjab minister for parliamentary affairs Rana Sanaullah seemed to have already decided on 16th June 2014 that the PAT Chairman Mr. Qadri would not be certified any opportunity