LAHORE  -    A three-member bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday extended the suspension order barring the new Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from investigating Model Town carnage until April 30th.

The full bench headed by Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan and including Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan and Justice Alia Neelum, was hearing the petitions filed against the formation of new JIT to probe the incident.

On January 3, 2019, the new JIT was formed for a fresh investigation into the 2014 Model Town killings by police after a notification had been issued by the Punjab Chief Secretary for the purpose.

Newly appointed Advocate General of Punjab Ahmed Jamal Sukhera, who assumed the charge of his office following the resignation of former AG Ahmad Awais, sought time from the court to file the government’s reply in the petitions.

The counsel representing Constable Khurram Rafiq and Inspector Rizwan Gondal contended that after the submission of a report from the first JIT, another investigation team could not be formed to probe the same matter under the law.  The counsel submitted that the Punjab government’s decision to form new JIT may kindly be declared null and void and against the law.

Meanwhile,  Azhar Siddiq who represented Minhajul Quran in the court said that an application had been submitted to Lahore High Court Chief Justice Sardar Shamim Khan against the formation of larger Bench to hear the case.

He added that a Constitutional petition would also be filed soon for the purpose.

The Bench extended its suspension order against the formation of the new JIT and stopped the team from working until April 30.

The Bench also summoned the lawyers for arguments in the next hearing.

On March 22, 2019, the three-member Lahore High Court Bench suspended the notification for the appointment of the new JIT that was constituted in January this year.

In June 2014, about 14 Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers and supporters of Dr Tahirul Qadri were killed by the police during a cleanup operation conducted outside his residence and Minhajul Quran Secretariat in Model Town.