LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan on Monday allowed shifting of proceedings of Sahiwal killings trial to an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore.

The chief justice passed this order allowing a petition moved by Muhammad Jalil, the brother of Khalil who was gunned down along with his wife and a teenage daughter in an ‘encounter’ carried out by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD).

The petitioner, through his counsel, contended that he and other heirs of the encounter victims had been facing problems while attending trial proceedings in Sahiwal. He also cited the security reasons and asked the court to shift the trial proceedings from Sahiwal to Lahore.

During the hearing, the prosecution and lawyers of the police personnel facing the trial told the chief justice that they would have no objection if the trial proceedings were transferred from Sahiwal to Lahore.

Chief Justice Khan admitted the petition and allowed shifting of the trial to an anti-terrorism court in Lahore.

The alleged encounter held on Jan 19 last had claimed four lives. The fourth victim, namely Zeeshan, was behind the steering wheel of the car. The CTD claimed that Zeeshan had relations with Islamic State or Daesh.

At present, an ATC of Sahiwal is seized with the trial of the six personnel of the CTD. However, there has been no progress in the trial due to the transfer petition filed before the high court.

Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2019