LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday observed that apparently the Punjab government was protecting the officials involved in Model Town incident by not making judicial inquiry report public.

A full bench headed by Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan was hearing petitions seeking release of report of the inquiry held into Model Town incident. Justice Anwarul Haq and Justice Abdul Sattar Asghar were other members of the bench.

Take a look: Model Town probe report: Govt ‘in no hurry’ to take action

At the outset of the hearing, an additional advocate general requested the bench to allow him more time to file the government’s reply on the matter.

Holding back probe report annoys court

The bench expressed serious dismay and observed that the government had been seeking time for the last eight months to file a reply only.

Justice Khan observed that it appeared the government wanted to protect the officials responsible for the incident by not making the inquiry report public. The bench gave last opportunity to the government’s counsel for submission of the reply and adjourned hearing till March 3.

Petitions filed by Idara Minhajul Quran, Judicial Activism Panel and others sought directions for the government to make public the judicial inquiry report. The petitioners through their counsels stated the government did not seem to be in a mood to release the inquiry report despite passage of more than eight months since the incident occurred.

They said at least 14 persons were killed and over 100 injured in the incident but the government wanted to protect the guilty officials. They asked the court to order the government to release the inquiry report without further delay.

Justice Ali Baqar Najafi of the LHC had held the judicial inquiry into the June 17, 2014, incident.

Bail plea dismissed: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday dismissed bail petition of a man arrested for distributing anti-army literature.

The suspect through his counsel argued the police implicated him in the case. He denied the charges of distributing the anti-army literature and urged the court to release him on bail.

However, a deputy prosecutor told the court that police caught Muhammad Saeed red-handed from Naulakha area while distributing offensive literature. He said the police also recovered the literature from the suspect.

The court dismissed his petition.

Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2015

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