LAHORE - The Punjab government on Tuesday opposed in the Lahore High Court publication of the Model Town inquiry report, arguing that a single bench consisting of Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi passed the order beyond its jurisdiction.

Advocate Khwaja Haris represented the provincial government as a private counsel before the full bench headed by Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh. The lawyer argued that single bench’s decision was against the law and it condoned the technicalities.

However, PAT workers’ counsel Advocate Khwaja Tariq Rahim and Advocate Azhar Siddique moved a civil miscellaneous application before the court, questioning hiring of Khwaja Haris as private counsel of the Punjab government. The lawyers said that reasons for hiring a private counsel submitted by the provincial government should be clear and open to defendants. They wanted to know that why were not the law officers representing the government?  During the proceedings, lawyers of both sides went hard on each other. Qaisar Iqbal and 19 other legal heirs of the victims of Model Town incident were also present in the courtroom. The bench, after hearing both sides, issued notice to the parties for further arguments on Wednesday (today).

The Punjab government through Khwaja Haris had moved an appeal against the decision of a single bench consisting of Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi to make public the inquiry report on the Model Town killings of Pakistan Awami Tehreek workers.

The government had opposed the order, saying that the report might create a law and order situation when the government itself was responsible for maintaining law and order. It also said the order passed by the single bench was illegal and unlawful as the government was not heard.

It said that it was violation of Article 10 A of the Constitution. Justice was not seen to be done, the lawyers said. The matter should have been referred to the full bench seized with the same matter and there was no reason for the single bench to hear the case. The government lawyers had quoted six cases pending adjudication before the full bench and argued that a single bench could not allow a petition in such a situation. The government lawyers prayed to the court to set aside the single bench’s decision.

Appointment of NAB Chairman

challenged before LHC

A writ petition was filed in the Lahore High Court on Tuesday challenging appointment of Javed Iqbal as the chairman of National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Barrister Javed Iqbal Jafree moved the petition submitting that the former judge was appointed in violation of merit as the post neither was advertised nor any search committee was formed to make the impugned appointment.

The appointment of the NAB Chairman was the result of the consensus of both government and opposition leader in the national assembly, he said. He said other opposition parties were not consulted over his appointment which was violation of law.

He also pointed out that Justice (r) Javed Iqbal was the head of Abbotabad Commission but he did not make it public. He prayed the court to set aside appointment of retired Justice Iqbal as NAB chairman.

Plea for treason case

against Nawaz

The Lahore High Court on Tuesday re-issued a notice to Defence Police SHO, directing him to submit report on a petition seeking registration of a high treason case against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif over his speeches against the judiciary and other state institutions.

Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem passed the order on a petition moved by Jawad Ashraf, a resident of DHA.

Earlier on October 4, the judge had admitted the petition for regular hearing and ordered the SHO to submit a report, but he failed to comply with the order. The judge again issued notice to the SHO for November 6. Jawad Ashraf, the petitioner, submitted that on July 28 a five-member bench of the Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz as prime minister of Pakistan for failing to declare his salary, which he had not drawn as an executive of a Dubai-based company, as an asset when filing his nomination papers in 2013.  He said that Nawaz Sharif, after his disqualification, had taken out a rally from Islamabad to Lahore in August. During the rally, he had made speeches and criticised the judiciary and other state institutions.

He said that Nawaz had also levelled allegations against members of the joint investigation team formed by the Supreme Court to probe his offshore assets.

He submitted that Nawaz had committed sedition by trying to defame the judiciary and the army. He said the disqualified prime minister had also been trying to incite people against the state institutions.