LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) is hearing the Punjab government’s appeal against an earlier order of the court directing the release of the Model Town tragedy inquiry report.
Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh is heading a three-member bench hearing the government’s plea against the single bench’s earlier order.
Presenting his arguments, the provincial government’s counsel, Khawaja Harris, said the single bench delivered its order without hearing the government’s side.
He questioned the hearing of the writ petition by the single bench when a similar matter was already being heard by a full bench.
The counsel for the victims, Azhar Siddique, said Harris is implicating the honourable high court in his arguments.
At this, a verbal clash ensued between the two counsel, leading the court to admonish the petitioners’ counsel to let Harris complete his arguments and then speak.
The Punjab government had filed an intra-court appeal against the September 21 decision of a single-bench ordering the release of the Model Town inquiry report, authored by LHC Justice Baqar Najafi.
On September 21, Justice Mazahar Ali Naqvi ordered the Punjab home secretary to make public the report, authored by LHC Justice Baqar Najafi, on the Model Town killings and provide a copy to the families of those killed and injured in the 2014 incident.
The government in its appeal against the decision, challenged the jurisdiction of the single bench to give its decision on the report, on the grounds that as many as eight identical petitions on the same matter were already pending before a full bench.
In the appeal, the government said it was neither asked by the single bench to file any reply nor was put on notice on the matter, adding that it was also not given any opportunity to explain its position on the case.