Tuesday Nov 14, 2017
LAHORE: The Punjab government failed on Tuesday to submit the inquiry report on the Model Town incident in the Lahore High Court (LHC).
The provincial government's counsel, Khawaja Harris, could not appear in court due to other engagements, due to which the report could not be submitted.
A full bench of the LHC is hearing the government's appeal challenging a single-bench's order directing the release of the inquiry report.
At the last hearing, the bench asked Harris if he has brought along the inquiry report, to which the lawyer replied in the affirmative. However, later the court said that it cannot peruse the report due to a shortage of time.
The court had directed the lawyer to bring the report on November 14 (today) so the bench could examine it in-camera.
Lawyers of the victims of Model Town incident and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) opposed the appeal in the last hearing, and said the public has the right to know details of the report and those responsible for the violence.
The victims’ lawyers, including Azhar Siddique and Khwaja Tariq Rahim, said that 14 people lost their lives and 95 others got injured in the 2014 incident.
They requested the bench to set aside the government’s appeal.
The government, on the other hand, contends that the report could affect the trial proceedings on different FIRs lodged over the Model Town incident.
On September 21, a single-member bench of the LHC ordered the Punjab government to make public the judicial inquiry report into the Model Town killings.
The order was read out by Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi while hearing a petition by the families of those injured in the 2014 clashes with police in Lahore to make the inquiry report public.
The government, in its appeal against the decision, had challenged the jurisdiction of the single bench to give its decision on the report, on the grounds that as many as eight identical petitions on the same matter were already pending before a full bench.
In the appeal, the government said it was neither asked by the single bench to file any reply nor was put on notice on the matter, adding that it was also not given any opportunity to explain its position on the case.
A full bench, however, dismissed the plea on September 25 and observed that the matter will be heard on a daily basis from October 2.
At least 14 people were killed and 100 others injured in the police action against PAT workers during an 'anti-encroachment operation' in June 2014.