LAHORE - The Lahore High Court has declined a government request for the formation of a judicial commission on Kasur child abuse scandal.

Senior lawyers say this is the first time in country’s history that judiciary has rejected a government request for judicial inquiry of some matter.

“There is no justification to hold a judicial inquiry or to nominate District & Sessions Judge Kasur for the said purpose,” the LHC registrar said in a reply to the home department which had sent the request to the LHC chief justice on the directive of Punjab chief minister.

Punjab government request carried with it the report of Kasur DPO stating that seven FIRs had been registered at Ganda Singhwala Police Station against a number of accused.

The LHC registrar said the DPO report reveals that some of the accused nominated in the FIRs were on pre-arrest bail while others had been arrested and were on physical remand, showing that police was already investigating the matter.

Senior lawyer Abid Hassan Manto told The Nation on Monday that it is not binding on the Chief Justice to accept all such requests of the governments. “Judicial Commission can’t do anything. The police should investigate the matter, get the bails of the accused cancelled and get them punished,” he said.

Advocate Aftab Bajwa said it is the first time that the judiciary has declined such request of the government and it did a right thing. He quoted the observation of the LHC full bench on Model Town incident according to which commission and tribunal cannot be constituted on mere home department’s request. He said the full bench observed that judges of higher judiciary are not public servants while the heads of the commissions are considered as public servants whom the governments ask when and how to investigate the matters which are assigned to them.

This is why “that the federal government passed an ordinance to constitute a commission to probe into alleged rigging in general election”, Bajwa added.

Judicial Activism Penal Chairman Azhar Siddique said that the decision of the LHC registrar is right as the Punjab government should not have attached the DPO’s report with its letter. “If the police are already investigating the matter, there remains no ground for a judicial commission,” he argued. He also said it is first ever case in the country’ history where such a request has been declined.