SC moved against suspension of new JIT

Updated May 22, 2019

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Policemen look on with their weapons during clashes with supporters of Tahirul Qadri in Model Town, Lahore on June 17, 2014. —AFP/File
Policemen look on with their weapons during clashes with supporters of Tahirul Qadri in Model Town, Lahore on June 17, 2014. —AFP/File

LAHORE: A decision of the Lahore High Court about suspension of a joint investigation team (JIT) formed by the sitting Punjab government to reinvestigate the 2014 Model Town incident has been challenged before the Supreme Court.

The LHC full bench on March 22, with a majority decision of two to one, had suspended the new JIT on petitions of several police officials facing trial in the Model Town case.

The provincial government had constituted the JIT after Bisma Amjad — an affected person — had approached the Supreme Court for the formation of a new JIT expressing serious doubts on the investigation and trial.

Now Ms Amjad through a fresh petition assailed the high court’s decision to suspend the JIT before the apex court for being a faulty decision in the eye of law.

The petition filed through advocates Khwaja Ahmad Tariq Rahim and Azhar Siddique states that the impugned decision completely ignored order of the Supreme Court passed on the application of the petitioner.

It says the decision by the high court has been rendered in ignorance of Article 4(2) of the Constitution as also the Code of Criminal Procedure, both of which allow what is not prohibited and do not prohibit fresh investigation.

The petition argues that the apex court in a 2006 judgement categorically held that investigation can be ordered even after the framing of charges and even during the course of trial.

It further pleads that the impugned order also ignores the fact that Article 10-A of the Constitution envisages a fair trial for the complainant as well and that the SC had only sanctioned a fresh JIT in the matter because it was mindful that the complainant had been totally ignored in whole previous proceedings.

The petition argues that the LHC passed the decision without putting the prosecutor general or advocate general of Punjab on notice in a most unusual happening. It also questions the formation of the full bench that passed the impugned verdict.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2019