Family of victims moves SC for judicial probe

Sahiwal tragedy q Different ministers of the government have changed their statements on the incident more than once which shows connivance or the ill-will,” the appeal contended

ISLAMABAD   -   Family of Sahiwal Tragedy victims on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court challenging the orders of Lahore High Court (LHC), requesting it to issue directions for constitution of Judicial Commission to probe the incident.

On January 19 this year, 16 CTD persons stopped a car at Qadirabad Adda GT Road and started indiscriminate firing resulting into death of three family members, including Muhammad Khalil, his wife Nabeela Khalil, their daughter Areeba Khalil. In addition to it, Khalil’s son Muhammad Umair received leg injury and another daughter Jazeeba Khalil was hit in her arm. The incident had invited rage throughout the country.

On January 21, Punjab’s Additional Secretary Home constituted a five-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) for investigation of the case.

But Muhammad Jalil, brother of Khalil, being dissatisfied with the JIT findings moved writ petition in LHC which on February 14 directed the Sessions Judge Sahiwal to depute some magistrate for conducting judicial inquiry within the period of 30 days.

However, on March 18, LHC dismissed the writ petition ruling that high court lacks jurisdiction for constitution of judicial commission.

The instant appeal in the top court contended that JIT is hardly compatible with facts of the case and that the investigation by JIT has changed the whole complexion on the occurrence which took place in broad daylight on busy public road.

It added Prime Minister Imran Khan on his visit to Lahore on 10-4-2019 viewing the magnitude of the episode has himself instructed the Chief Minister to constitute judicial commission to dig out truth by probing into Sahiwal incident.

The appeal further contended that in order to hide the real culprits of the said incident firstly a false FIR on 19 January 2019 was lodged at Lahore P.S CTD to conclude the victims of the incident as criminals/terrorists and it was hue and cry raised by the petitioner and his relatives as well as media which compelled officials at helm to lodge the second FIR on January 20 of 2019.

As per the latest news the standing committee of the Senate has also concluded that JIT will not be able to bring the truth on surface regarding the said incident because of involvement of CTD and other high Police officials.

Since the high-ups of different and the JIT is not in capacity to reach a just decision. In the initial report of JIT nothing has been said regarding the brutal killings of the innocent family members of the petitioner. This aspect of the initial report of JIT manifests the admission on the part of JIT that the relatives of the petitioner were innocent.

The facts in FIR by Incharge operation team were distorted as contained in the FIR lodged by the complainant petitioner and the manner/event of occurrence was described mala fide simply to save CTD officials who in fact brutally murdered four persons and injured two other persons.

“Different ministers of the government have changed their statements on the incident more than once which shows connivance or the ill-will regarding the dispensation of justice to the petitioner and his aggrieved family,” the appeal contended.

No recovery has been affected by JIT from the CTD officials involved members which shows the apathy on the part of JIT and also the level of favour extended to culprits by JIT, it added.

“The place of occurrence has not been secured by the JIT and the vital evidence has been destroyed from the spot by CTD officials.”

“JIT is well aware about the identification of culprits at the time of their so-called duties, the petitioner and eye-witnesses were called upon to identify the culprits in an identification parade by the complete knowledge are the fact that their faces with masks at the time of incident. The act of JIT, makes the role more suspicious because every effort is being exhausted to save the real culprits.”

“The performance of JIT is already doubtful and no trust can be deposed upon it. Therefore the petitioner filed writ petition for constitution of judicial commission.”

Under the law, Section 4 of Pakistan Commissions of Inquiry Act 2017, the Federal Government is empowered to constitute an inquiry into any definite matter of public importance.

Under Section 13 of the Act, it shall be duty of all executive authorities in the federation and the provinces to act in aid of the Commission and comply with the directions of such commission.

The appeal further argued that the formation of judicial commission by the superior courts is also essential owning to non-seriousness on the government to provide justice to victim family the formation of an independent judicial commission is the only way to unearth the real facts related to this tragic incident.

It added that the JIT has not taken into account the video clips made by the eye-witnesses present on the spot which have also been aired on different TV channels.

Federation of Pakistan, Ministry of Interior, Chief Minister Punjab, Chief Secretary Punjab, Punjab Home Department, Punjab Inspector General of Police and Punjab CTD Additional Inspector General are arrayed as respondents.

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