LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Wednesday ordered Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) to launch crackdown on encroachments, with directives to the Lahore mayor to supervise the operation.

Justice Ali Akbar Qureshi passed the order on several petitions against encroachments and illegal buildings inside the Walled City areas. The judge also summoned WCLDA Director General Kamran Lashari for Thursday (today) to explain performance of the authority regarding protection and preservation of the area.

Justice Qureshi expressed serious concerns over encroachment inside the Walled City , observing that the court would engage rangers if the authority failed to remove the encroachments.

“The court cannot approve reports prepared in air conditioned rooms,” the judge remarked, adding that “violation of court orders could not be tolerated,”.

The court also ordered operation against encroachments on Mall road, Hall road and Beadon road without any fear or favor.

“Why pedestrians’ rights are not protected here?” the judge expressed dismay on encroachments.

A number of petitioners had questioned the failure of Walled City of Lahore Authority regarding implementation of court orders against illegal buildings inside it.

The petitioners also questioned LDA’s and town municipal administration’s permission to the people to construct illegal buildings inside the walled city area. They prayed the court to order demolition of illegal buildings and action against the officials who violated the court orders regarding preservation of the walled city .

decision on pleas over Model Town killings reserved 

The Lahore High Court on Wednesday reserved decision on two appeals that sought conflicting remedies in Model Town carnage of June 17, 2014 which claimed lives of more than 14 people and left  85 others injured.

A full bench led by Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan and comprising Justice Miss Aalia Neelum and Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem reserved the decision after hearing arguments of both sides.  First appeal was moved by Pakistan Awami Tehreek against exclusion of 11 PML-N leaders including disqualified prime minister Nawaz Sharif, former Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif, former law minister Rana Sana Ullah and others  from trial of Anti-Terrorism Court on private complaint of Minhajul Quran administrator Jawad Hamid. The second appeal was filed by former IGP Mushtaq Ahmad Sukheria against his trial along with other 127 officials by the same anti-terrorism court for their alleged role in Model Town killings.

Prosecutor General Punjab (PGP) Ehtesham Qadir concluded his arguments while two other parties including PAT and Sukhera’s counsel had already completed their arguments. On Wednesday,  PGP argued that the trial court had indicted the accused involved in the massacre and now had been recording the evidence. He argued that the evidences recorded by the inquiry tribunal could not be used before any other forum for civil or criminal proceedings. He said they are not admissible. He cited different news clips before the bench showing activities and meetings of the PML-N leaders including Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif and others during the days the Model Town incident took place. He said these evidences and the affidavits of the accused whose summoning was being sought had already been submitted before the tribunal, so the same could not be used before the subordinate trial court. He questioned the appellant’s stance that the incident was pre-planned and that it was a conspiracy.

The former IGP Mushtaq Ahmad Shukhera’s counsel argued before the bench that his client had nothing to do with the Model Town killings. He said the former IGP took the charge on the same day but he was not involved in the massacre. His name was not in the FIR registered against the accused but despite that he was being tried which he said was injustice, he said.

Advocate Rai Bashir Ahmad represented Pakistan Awami Tehreek and argued that the Model Town killings was a pre-planned conspiracy and said that the PML-N leaders had made extra-judicial confession which he said was a strong evidence of their involvement in the massacre. He countered the AGP’s arguments that the evidences before the inquiry commission could not be used before any other forum, saying that many other evidence are there which lead towards the direct role of the PML-N 11 leaders including Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif. Being conspirators, the counsel said, the PML-N leaders must be summoned and tried. He said the decision of the trial court to the extend of excluding these respondent politicians be set aside.  He said former IGP Sukhera was the Baluchistan IGP and soon after an hour he took charge as the Punjab police chief firing took place which claimed lives of many innocent people in Model Town. Bashir argued that the evidence of voice recording of Sukhera ordering police officials to do firing on spot was also there.

The court examined the complete record of the former IGP, the time when he arrived in Lahore and took charge as the provincial police chief.

 

 The bench, after hearing arguments of both sides, reserved decision on the appeals.

It may be mentioned here that the incident of Model Town killings took place four years ago on June 17, 2014 which claimed lives of 14 people and left 85 others injured and still the victims of the incidents had been awaiting the justice.