KARACHI: The Sindh High Court was informed on Tuesday by the home department that there was no need to publicise the joint investigation team (JIT) reports of Baldia factory fire, Uzair Baloch’s confessional statements and other high-profile criminal cases as the reports had been submitted to trial courts.

A two-judge bench was hearing a petition filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Syed Ali Zaidi against the chief secretary for not providing him the JIT reports.

On Tuesday the home department filed its reply stating that publicity of the JIT reports might damage the above-mentioned cases which were pending disposal in trial courts, adding that the JIT reports would be used as evidence against the suspects.

Earlier, the PTI leader had petitioned the high court and submitted that the Sindh Transparency and Right to Information Law, 2011 had been passed by the provincial assembly “which allows every citizen the right to information”.

He submitted that he had requested the chief secretary multiple times to provide copies of the JIT reports of the Baldia factory fire incident, alleged crimes of Lyari gang leader Uzair Baloch and cases against the former chairperson of the Fishermen Cooperative Society Nisar Morai, but he had failed to provide the required information.

“The publication of the JIT reports is important to ensure that the true culprits are not able to evade justice. The precedence of making investigation reports public has been set by the Lahore High Court, which on September 21 this year ordered the report of Justice Ali Baqar Najafi on the Model Town massacre in Lahore to be made public,” the petitioner said.

Mr Zaidi requested the court to direct the authorities concerned to make public the investigation reports under Article 19-A of the Constitution of Pakistan.

After taking the home department’s reply on record, the bench put off the hearing of the case to a date to be later pronounced by the court’s office.

Published in Dawn, December 13th, 2017

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