LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court on Thursday indicted 116 police officials on a private complaint filed by Idara Minhajul Quran (sister organisation of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek) for their trial on charges of killing its workers during 2014 Model Town incident.
The court had in 2017 partially admitted the complaint against 125 officials of police and district government while rejecting it to the extent of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and 10 others including federal and provincial ministers.
Appeals of the accused officials summoned by the trial court were pending with the Lahore High Court.
On Thursday, nine accused including former DIG operations Rana Abdul Jabbar did not appear before the court. The court directed their counsel to ensure their appearance on next hearing.
The 116 accused indicted by the court pleaded not guilty and opted to contest their trial.
The court adjourned hearing for next week and summoned witnesses from the prosecution side.
Last week, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had taken suo motu notice of delayed proceedings of the Model Town incident after meeting a delegation of families of the slain at Lahore registry.
The chief justice had summoned record of the case and also sought a report from the advocate general.
Fourteen people were killed and more than 100 injured during the anti-encroachment operation outside the Model Town residence of PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri on June 17, 2014.
The 12 political leaders against whom the ATC had rejected the complaint are Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, MNA Hamza Shahbaz, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, Railways Minister Khwaja Saad Rafiq, Foreign Minister Khwaja Asif, former information minister Pervaiz Rashid, State Minister Abid Sher Ali, former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, then personal secretary to chief minister Syed Tauqir Shah, home minister Azam Suleman and then Lahore commissioner Rashid Mahmood Langrial.
Cane Commissioner: The Lahore High Court on Thursday directed the Punjab cane commissioner to ensure payments of farmers pending with three sugar mills at official rate fixed for the sugarcane.
Justice Ayesha A. Malik passed this order on over hundred writ petitions moved by the farmers for the recovery of their payments withheld by Brothers Sugar Mills, stated to be owned by close relatives of ruling Sharif family, Darya Khan Sugar Mills and Pattoki Sugar Mills.
Farmers pleaded that the respondent sugar mills were not releasing their payments pending for more than a year. They said several applications had been filed before the office of the cane commissioner but to no avail.
Justice Malik allowed the petitions and ordered the cane commissioner to take effective measures for the recovery of the farmers’ payments pending with the sugar mills.
The judge also directed the deputy registrar (judicial) of the high court to release Rs350 million earlier deposited by Brothers Sugar Mills to make payments of the farmers. The judge further ordered the cane commissioner to take strict action against the mills if they failed to make payments.
Meanwhile, Justice Malik dismissed petitions of different banks seeking recovery of loans from the three mills. The banks contended that the mills sold out sugar stock mortgaged with them. They asked the court to get their amount of loans recovered from the mills.
Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2018