Federal govt has authority to form judicial commission on Sahiwal incident: LHC

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LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) has said that the federal government has the authority to form a judicial commission to investigate January 19 police encounter in Sahiwal.

Four people, including a grocery store owner Khalil, his wife and teenage daughter, were killed when a team of Counter-Terrorism Department in Sahiwal on January 19.

A Joint Investigation Team constituted to investigate the incident declared Khalil’s family to be innocent.  The JIT, however, said that more investigation was required regarding Zeeshan, the fourth man killed in the raid.

Government officials later said that Zeeshan was a member of Afghan-based Islamic State terror cell.

Taking up the petition of Khalil’s brother, the LHC took up the case and directed the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) chief Ijaz Husain Shah to submit report till 1 PM. .

A two-member bench headed by LHC Chief Justice Sardar Muhammd Shamim Khan heard the petition.

The court reprimanded the JIT head for not submitting the report earlier.

The petitioner’s counsel argued that a judicial commission was formed in Model Town case as well.

The court responded that rules were different at that time, and the judicial commission can now be formed after federation’s consultation with the chief justice.

Justice Sardar Muhammd Shamim Khan commented that it is a very serious matter and summoned explanation from federal government on February 7 regarding the formation of commission.

In the petition, Jalil had pleaded the court to nullify the Joint Investigation Team formed to probe into the incident as he was not expecting justice from it.