LAHORE - A one-judge tribunal will be starting on Thursday (today) probe into the deaths of eight Pakistan Awami Tehreek workers, though senior lawyers dispute the legality of the proceedings in view of the boycott announced by Dr Tahirul Qadri.

Veteran lawyers Senator Aitzaz Ahsan and Pakistan Bar Council vice chairman Ramzan Chaudhry talking to The Nation said Wednesday that Chief Justice of Pakistan should have taken a suo motu notice of the incident. In their opinion, proceedings in absence of a party would have no legal effect.

On the first day of the proceedings, Director General LDA, District Coordination Officer Lahore and IG Punjab are supposed to appear in person and submit a detailed report on the Model Town incident on Thursday (today).

The tribunal comprising Justice Ali Baqar Najfi placed the order to ascertain the facts and circumstances of the incident at Minhajul Quran Academy and Secretariat, Model Town.

A district and sessions judge/staff officer to Chief Justice Jawadul Hassan has been appointed as registrar of the tribunal comprising Justice Ali Baqar Najafi.

Other officers of the tribunal include Jamshed Akhtar Shaheen as assistant to registrar, Muhammad Din as staff officer of the tribunal, Samuel Javed as private secretary, Ghulam Yasin and Shahzad Khalid as additional private secretaries to the tribunal. Javed Iqbal has been appointed as custodian of record while Muhammad Naeem and Muhammad Azeem Badar will be Naib Qasids.  The lawyers say that the aggrieved party was not taken into the confidence which doubted the legality of the proceedings of the tribunal holding inquiry. They said that the government should have taken the aggrieved party on board at least for the constitution of a commission.

“A commission is not a commission if a party is not agreed upon its constitution,” said Ramzan Chaudhry. He said he wished that Chief Justice of Pakistan should have taken suo motu notice of the brutal killings of innocent workers and held inquiry to bring the real culprits to justice.

He said the history was witness of a number of judicial commissions made to probe a number of incidents but they could not deliver to meet the expectations of aggrieved parties.

Judicial Activism Penal chairman advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique said he was not in favour of a judicial commission. He said he wanted that judicial commission itself should deny from initiating proceedings.

“If a party has not been taken on board then the legality of a commission is automatically lost,” said Siddique. He said “how a commission can hold inquiry without response of other party, especially the aggrieved party because the investigation could not be carried out as per the requirements of other party.” Advocate Dr Muhammad Hayat Kalasan said at least the aggrieved party should have been asked about the commission whether they were agreed or not before its constitution.

On June 17, Punjab government issued a notification requesting the court to constitute an inquiry commission to probe into the Model Town incident.

The tribunal would continue its inquiry proceedings at Principal Seat of Lahore High Court and any person desirous of making submission before tribunal was required to register with the registrar of the tribunal and file a written submission alongwith relevant documents, if any, and a copy of CNIC, said the notification.

It said all state functionaries including concerned officers of federal/provincial government were bound to render full assistance and cooperation to the tribunal and its authorized officers in performance of their functions, the notification further stated.