LAHORE - The counsel for victims of Model Town shooting told the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday that trial would not be prejudiced if Justice Baqar Najfi’s report is released.

A full bench headed by Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh heard the concluding arguments of Barrister Ali Zafar, the lawyer who was representing the victims of the Model Town incident.

During the proceedings, the respondents’ lawyers said they had moved an application to the Information Commissioner to get the report. However, Punjab government’s lawyer Khurram Chughtai said that so far no such application had been moved. He said he had complete record of applications moved in this regard. On this, the bench observed that it would look into it.

Barrister Ali Zafar contended that after the Model Town incident on June 16 and 17, 2014, there was a huge outcry against the Punjab government. He said the Lahore High Court chief justice was requested to appoint an inquiry commission to ascertain facts about the Model Town tragedy. He argued that by appointing the commission, the Punjab government accepted that it was a matter of public importance and an independent enquiry was required.

Relying on various UN Conventions and the preamble of the Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act, 2013, he stated the fundamental right to information was mother of all human rights. If people do not know the truth, they cannot make informed decisions regarding their rulers, he said.  He quoted various judgements. He argued that the government was wrongly claiming that release of Justice Najafi report would prejudice the trial of any person or hinder administration of justice. He submitted that this was a totally absurd argument that was not backed by any law and based on mere assumptions.