LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Tuesday reserved verdict on a petition for getting the Model Town massacre report released.

Fourteen PAT people were killed while another 100 sustained wounds in a police action at Minhajul Quran Secretariat in Model Town in 2014. Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi heard the case filed by 20 victim families.

Petitioners’ counsel Barrister Ali Zafar argued that the release of report was clearly a matter of public interest and the government, under the law, was bound to give the required information to the petitioners.

He told the court the provincial government requested the Lahore High Court for forming a judicial commission to dig into the matter and fix the responsibility. He went on to say: “The court appointed Justice Ali Baqar Najafi for the purpose, who compiled the report but it could not be made public even after three years. Under the Punjab Tribunals of Inquiry Ordinance-1969, the commission had been given the powers of civil court and its proceedings classified as judicial proceedings.”  He told the court that it was a case of enforcement of fundamental rights guaranteed to the petitioners and the public. The court, he added, being custodian and protector of fundamental rights had constitutional obligation to direct the government to publish the report without tampering or deletion.

The lawyer said the families of deceased had the right to obtain the copy of Justice Najafi’s report under Article 9-A of the Constitution as well as the Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act-2013 and Qanoon-i-Shahadat Order-1984

However, additional advocate general Shan Gull opposed the petition, saying:  “The inquiry report in question is nly for the benefit of the government and the government was not obliged to disclose it.”

Appealing to the court to to refer the matter to a full bench hearing,  the government lawyer said: “The report was not a judgment so it would not serve any purpose.” After hearing both sides, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi reserved the judgment.

 

Hafiz plea hearing put off

The Lahore High Court Tuesday adjourned until September 22 the hearing of a petition filed by Jamatud Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed and his four aides against Punjab government for issuing their fresh detention orders. Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi took up the matter but A K Dogar, the counsel of the petitioners, could not appear before the court.

On last hearing, the Punjab Home department submitted a written report to the court and declared that the activities of JuD chief Hafiz Saeed would be against the law and order.  On January 28, the interior ministry suggested the provincial government should put Hafiz and his aides under house arrest  The minister said that the  Jamatud Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation were engaged in certain activities which could be prejudicial to peace and security and in violation of Pakistan’s obligations to the United national Security Council Resolution No 1267. Punjab government placed both organizations in the second schedule of ATA under its section 11-D (1).