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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday rejected a plea seeking to restrain a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) from carrying out investigations into cases against the PTI leaders over alleged murder of Ali Bilal alias Zille Shah and riots at Zaman Park.

The court however sought replies from the home department and other respondents by April 14 on a petition of PTI leader Musarrat Jamshed Cheema.

The court observed that it had to decide who would carry out the probe if the police were restrained from carrying it out.

The petitioner through her counsel argued that police had registered 10 baseless and fake cases against the PTI leaders. She said the home department constituted an illegal JIT for the investigation. The police unlawfully inserted provisions of anti-terrorism law in the cases, she added.

The petitioner said that the Home secretary Punjab made the JIT on the directives of provincial government.

The counsel contended that they had evidence and witnesses in the case related to death of Zille Shah and pleaded the high court to void the notification regarding constitution of the investigation team.

He asked the court to set aside the notification of formation of the JIT and also the call-up notices being issued by it to the leaders of PTI. A law officer however pleaded that the JIT had been formed comprising officers from all departments to ensure a transparent probe.

The court after hearing the petitioners’ counsel at length issued notice to the respondents and sought their reply till next hearing.

The JIT has summoned Imran Khan, Fawad Chaudhry, Musarrat Jamshed Cheema, Farrukh Habib, Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Dr Yasmin Rashid and others to record their statements in the cases.

All the leaders were asked to appear before the JIT on Wednesday at the Lahore CCPO office. Last time, no PTI leader, except Asad Umar, appeared before the JIT.

The JIT is headed by SSP Imran Kishwar, SP Aftab Phulawan and three others members belonging to the Intelligence Bureau, the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Military Intelligence. The cases against the PTI leaders were registered at the Racecourse and Shadman police stations.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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