ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan Tuesday issued notices to the parties regarding formation of a fresh Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the Model Town incident, wherein 14 people were killed and 100 others were injured.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed conducted hearing of the Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) petition to stop the new JIT from investigation of the Model Town incident.

During the hearing, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan asked, what had happened to the new JIT.

The chief justice remarked when the statements of all the witnesses recorded then why there was a need to constitute a new JIT.

Barrister Ali Zafar, representing the PAT, informed the court that the straight fires were opened due to which 14 persons were killed and 100 others were injured. The TV channels telecast the whole incident live. He told that the Lahore High Court by suspending the notification had granted stay against the formation of a new JIT.

The PTI-led Punjab government in December 2018 in view of the apex court observation had constituted a fresh JIT to probe the Model Town incident. However, the Lahore High Court (LHC) on March 22, 2019 on the petitions of former Punjab police Inspector Rizwan Qadir and constable Khurram Rafiq had suspended a notification for formation of a new JIT.

Rizwan and Khurram had submitted before the LHC that a judicial inquiry and a JIT had already investigated the 2014 firing incident.

They submitted that the Code of Criminal Procedure and Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 did not allow formation of a second JIT in the same case.

Ali Zafar contended that the PML-N government had constituted a controversial JIT.

The chief justice said this case should be tried like other criminal cases.

A JIT was formed in 2014, which conducted investigations and finalized its report in May 2015. The JIT had cleared Shehbaz Sharif and Rana Sanaullah and dismissed all charges levelled against them in the FIR.

The PAT alleged that its 14 members were martyred and 100 others were injured during the police crackdown on PAT workers in the Model Town area on June 17, 2014.

It claimed that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, former chief minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif, former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah, former federal interior minister Ch Nisar, former defence minister Khawaja Asif, Abid Sher Ali, Pervaiz Rasheed, and former IGP Punjab Mushtaq Sukhera were responsible for the incident.

Later, the apex court deferred hearing in this matter till February 13 for further proceedings.