ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Wednesday restrained the Chief Justice Peshawar High Court from constituting a judicial commission to probe Mashal Khan’s murder.

Mashal Khan, a 23-year-old student at the Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, was killed by an angry mob on the premises of the university on 13th April 2017 over allegations of posting blasphemous content social media.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, heard the suo moto notice, which he had taken last week of the tragic incident.

The court also raised a question on the composition of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and questioned why the intelligence agencies’ officials were not included in the JIT.

Home Secretary Khyber Pukhtunkhwa informed that the Chief Minister KPK had announced for setting up a judicial commission in the provincial assembly. He said on the order of CM they had sent a summary to the CJ PHC. The apex court sought explanation for the CM KPK for ordering to constitute the judicial commission when the JIT had already been set up.

Justice Saqib Nisar said, in the presence of the JIT why the need was felt to constitute the commission. He directed the home secretary to file Terms of Reference of the commission, saying after examining the ToRs they would decide whether the commission should be formed or not?

The chief justice asked the IGP KP to file a progress report weekly on the issue. He said they would not allow anyone to do political point scoring on this issue.

Justice Umar Atta Bandia said the police must reach out to the mastermind of this incident. He said this is not a usual incident, adding they would not comment on the case as the investigation is going on. He said that the investigation should be result oriented.

The IGP informed that the Superintendent of Police is heading the JIT, which comprises DSP, three police inspectors and a representative of Intelligence Bureau.

He said two FIRs of the incident had been registered. One FIR is about murder of Mashal Khan and the other is regarding inciting the mob. He further told that 28 accused have been nominated, and out of the total 20 were nominated on the basis of footage, while 8 were listed due to the statements of 20 persons.

He said 24 accused have been arrested and one had given his confessional statement. He said the police is conducting raid for the arrest of rest of the four accused.

The chief justice said if the judicial commission is constituted then the police officers would appear before it whole day. He said it was a tragic incident and they don’t have word for its condemnation. The chief justice asked the IGP to take personal interest in the investigation, while the court would monitor it so that the matter could reach its logical end.

The IG informed that 80 per cent investigation has been complete and soon they would file a challan in the trial court. He urged the chief justice to issue direction that the trial court hear the case on daily basis. The chief justice directed him to complete the investigation and said the court is with the police.

The chief justice also asked the police to consider confessional statements of the accused on social media. If these statements are wrong then the people should know truth.

The hearing was adjourned until 27th April.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 20-Apr-2017 here.