LAHORE - Punjab government has opposed the application moved by some members of the civil society and lawyers against judicial review committee, headed by Justice (r) Khalilur Rehman Khan, on Inquiry Tribunal’s report of Model Town incident, praying the Lahore High Court to dismiss it with costs.

An LHC full bench headed by Justice Khalid Mehmood along with Justice Anwarul Haq and Justice Abdul Sattar Asghar was hearing the case.

As the proceedings commenced, Punjab government filed its reply through Advocate Khawaja Haris Ahmad submitting that the application of the civil society and others was not maintainable. And if the applicants wanted to add any fact with the main petition they should file a separate petition to seek permission from the court and it was not done in the present application, the reply added.

The counsel said that the JIT report, taken from a website, did not support any kind of speculation in the case. He told the bench that the officials of Punjab government exchanged some letters with Abdullah Malik when he approached a government department to seek report of the Inquiry tribunal on Model Town incident. However, no derogatory language was used against any person in the letters, he added.

Azhar Siddique, the lawyer-petitioner, contended that the Punjab government had made an unconstitutional commission. On it, the counsel of the government said that if they wanted to challenge the constitution of commission, a separate petition be filed.

Justice Khalid Mehmood Khan observed that the court would decide whether the commission was constitutional or unconstitutional and adjourned further proceedings till March 09. The petitioners said a journalist of a local TV channel was provided a copy of Model Town inquiry tribunal’s report which he also showed during his programme but the court was denied to have a copy of that report; how was that justified?

In previous hearing, the bench expressed serious displeasure at Punjab government for not submitting its reply to petitions demanding release of judicial inquiry’s report into Model Town incident.

Idara Minhajul Quran and others had filed petitions seeking direction for the government to public the judicial inquiry report of Model Town incident.

The petitioners had stated that the government was not in a mood to release the inquiry report despite more than sight months had been passed. They pointed out that at least 14 persons were killed and over 100 injured but the government wanted to protect the guilty authorities. They asked the court to order the provincial government to make the inquiry report public. Justice Ali Baqar Najafi of the LHC had held the judicial inquiry.