The Lahore High Court on Thursday offered a judicial inquiry into the deaths of four people – including three members of a family – in an alleged encounter in Sahiwal last month.

On January 19, four people were killed in an alleged shootout in Sahiwal, with the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) personnel claiming they had killed a local commander of militant organisation Daesh and three others in the operation. Eyewitnesses, however, disputed the claim and said the people in the car did not fire at officials, nor were any explosives recovered from the vehicle.

A two-member bench headed by Lahore High Court Chief Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan and including Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan today heard a petition filed by Jalil, the brother of Khalil who was among those killed in the alleged encounter.

The petition requested that the LHC judges form a judicial commission in accordance with the Punjab Tribunals of Inquiry Ordinance, 1969, and that the joint investigation team be stopped from continuing its probe and labelled illegal.

Chief Justice LHC Sardar Muhammad Shamim, while hearing the petition, told Jalil’s lawyer that if the victim family wishes, the court can order a judicial inquiry into the incident.

The bench ordered the JIT, formed to probe the killings, to summon the eyewitnesses and record their statements. It further asked the government to inform the court about its decision regarding formation of a judicial commission within a week.

The hearing was then adjourned till February 14.