Senator Syed Ali Zafar appears before LHC for Model Town massacre case

PRESS RELEASE: Senator & Barrister Syed Ali Zafar today appeared before the Full Bench of the Lahore High Court, headed by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Lahore High Court, Lahore, Mr. Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti, in the case pertaining to the Model Town massacre.

Representing the daughter of one of the slain victims of the massacre, Barrister Ali Zafar pleaded before the Full Bench that it had been impossible for the victims to expect justice when the investigating agencies were all headed by those who were directly linked to the perpetrators of the heinous act. He provided an expansive list of caselaw to the Full Bench laying down precedents of the Superior Courts of Pakistan that supported a reinvestigation to provide justice to the aggrieved families. These precedents stated that re-investigations in criminal cases could be carried out multiple times by the investigating agency in order to ensure the swift prevalence of justice, and that the investigation was not hampered due to unavailability of the evidence at the initial stages.

Barrister Ali Zafar quoted a case of the Sindh High Court in which the Court had itself directed the Government to appoint a JIT to examine the killings that took place in Karachi when the then Chief Justice visited the city. The Sindh High Court had held that because the cases were against the police and the people in power, therefore, the investigation would have been prejudiced and ordered re-investigation. Quoting various judgements, Barrister Ali Zafar argued that Justice (Retd.) Saqib Nisar was the author of the judgement in which the Court had decided that re-investigation can be ordered at any stage before the conclusion of the trial. He pointed out that in the present case also the Supreme Court had constituted a Five Member Bench which was headed by Justice (Retd.) Saqib Nisar and Justice Khosa was also part of the case. Therefore, when passing the order of the Supreme Court directing re-investigation, both the Judges must be deemed to be aware on the point. He argued that in the light of the judgement, there was no prohibition in law for re-investigation of the case at any stage. He further argued that here the petitioners were attempting to stall the investigation so that true facts cannot be unearthed and creating a hindrance to obstruct the course of justice could not be allowed in writ jurisdiction.

Regarding the objection that JIT was not constituted by the Cabinet, Barrister Ali Zafar submitted that the Cabinet had granted ex post facto approval for the formation of JIT and therefore it was valid in law.

However, due to paucity of time, the case was adjourned for next Thursday i.e., 11th November 2021 for further arguments and decision.

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