A Lahore High Court (LHC) full bench comprising three judges was formed on Wednesday to hear pending cases regarding the 2014 Model Town tragedy.
The bench — formed on orders issued by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar last week — is headed by Justice Qasim Ali Khan and includes Justices Alia Neelum and Sardar Ahmed Naeem.
The bench will wind up pending cases regarding the Model Town incident — in which 14 people had been killed and a 100 others injured during a police assault — within a fortnight.
Last week, CJP Nisar had taken suo motu notice of the delay in proceedings in the Model Town incident case after meeting a delegation of the victims’ families at the Supreme Court’s Lahore registry. He had also summoned record of the case and sought a report from the advocate general.
During the hearing of the case last Saturday, the prosecutor general had argued that the counsel for the applicant had often been found absent at the hearings of the appeals pending before the LHC. At this, the chief justice directed the LHC to take, at the most, 15 days to decide all pending appeals regarding the proceedings of the trial court in the Model Town incident.
Meanwhile, an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) while hearing a separate case regarding the Model Town incident, issued non-bailable arrest warrants for former deputy inspector general Rana Abdul Jabbar, after he failed to appear in court despite being summoned. He was one of the 116 policemen who were indicted by the ATC last week for their alleged involvement in the Model Town incident.
On June 17, 2014, as many as 14 people had been killed and 100 others injured when police launched an assault on Pakistan Awami Tehreek supporters who were gathered outside the residence of party chief Tahirul Qadri in Model Town, Lahore during what the provincial government had dubbed an ‘anti-encroachment’ operation. The incident has since been remembered as the Model Town tragedy.