LHC judge refers petition to acting CJ for constitution of larger bench

LAHORE: Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday referred to the acting chief justice for constitution of a larger bench a petition to set aside the judicial inquiry of Model Town incident and issue directions to the government to get another inquiry conducted by a judicial commission consisting of Supreme Court (SC) judges.
The judge observed that legal questions raised by the petitioner needed a decision by a larger bench.
Earlier, the petition came up for hearing before Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh on Tuesday (August 26) but he recused himself from hearing it because of personal reasons.
Justice Sheikh referred the petition to the acting chief justice, who ordered to fix it before Justice Bhatti, who is already hearing a similar case.
A lawyer, Muhammad Irfan, filed the petition through his counsel Muhammad Azhar Siddique, who stated that the inquiry held by an LHC judge was one-sided as no representative of the aggrieved party (Minhajul Quran) appeared before it. The petitioner sought a direction for constitution of a judicial commission consisting of SC judges in view of suggestions made by the representatives of the aggrieved party that they have faith in the apex court. 
He stated that the inquiry conducted by the LHC judge was vague, uncertain and had failed to cater to the confronting issues. He stated that the inquiry should be reviewed and that it may be set aside if it has failed to unearth the real culprits.
He also requested the court to direct the government to provide him final findings of the Model Town inquiry tribunal in view of Article 19-A of the constitution and that the same findings may also be placed on the record of the court. 
He also sought an amendment to the relevant law to enhance jurisdiction, power and authority of a tribunal, so that its recommendations may not only be implemented but enforced as a judicial order and that any failure on part of the government to implement any such recommendations may lead to legal action.

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