Imran attack JIT stops working

Instructions to team halted after its head Lahore CCPO’s suspension order reinstated

Our Correspondent November 26, 2022
PTI chief Imran Khan is addressing the nation from Shaukat Khanum Hospital in Lahore on Friday, November 4. SCREENGRAB


The joint investigation team (JIT) probing into the attack on the PTI chairman at the party’s “Haqeeqi Azadi March” in Punjab’s Wazirabad on November 3 has stopped working following the Federal Service Tribunal (FST) reinstating the suspension order of the body’s head, Lahore police chief Ghulam Mahmood Dogar.

Sources said the issuance of instructions to the JIT had “temporarily” been halted.

They added that in the last few days, the JIT had been unable to achieve much except the  interrogation of the main suspect, Naveed Ahmad.

Legal experts are of the view that a suspended official cannot head a JIT.

Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Dogar was suspended by the federal government through a notification issued on November 5.

He will be considered suspended from that date now.

The Punjab government had appointed Dogar as the head of the JIT investigating the Wazirabad attack.

The FST has issued its detailed verdict on the government’s plea against the Lahore CCPO’s reinstatement.

It upheld the federal government’s decision to suspend Dogar on the grounds that he was unable to provide adequate security to the Punjab Governor’s House during a protest held in the wake of the attack on the PTI’s rally.

A day earlier, a two-member bench of the FST Islamabad, headed by the body's acting chairman Rana Zahid Mahmood and member Mohammad Javed Ghani, suspended an earlier decision of reinstating Dogar and ordered the formation of a larger bench to hear the case.

It adjourned the case for the disposal of the review application by the larger bench on December 5.

It upheld the notification of suspension of Dogar issued by the Establishment Division on November 5.

The FST suspended the operation of the order passed by the bench-III of the tribunal on November 10 on Dogar’s suspension.

“After hearing both the learned counsel for the parties, we are of the view that application for the constitution of larger bench is imperative to be allowed to ensure justice on the review application as main features hinted at least from both the sides are usurpation of jurisdiction by the learned Bench-III despite statuary bar under section 4(I) (a), secondly issuance of no notice to the opposite party/petitioner/respondent/government of Pakistan, thirdly observation by the learned Bench-III itself that appeal was premature,” read the FST judgment.

It noted that if the appeal was premature as observed by the bench-III itself, how did it assume the jurisdiction and pass the order resulting in the suspension of operation of the Establishment Division's order issued on November 5 against the respondent/appellant.

Tribunal members Asim Akram and Mushtaq Jadoon had issued a three-page written decision on the CCPO’s plea on November 10, putting off his suspension and transfer order and reinstating him as the Lahore police chief.

It had directed the Establishment Division to decide the Lahore CCPO's petition against his transfer order first.


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