LHC CJ disposes of suo motu on Nishtar encounter

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Lahore High Court Chief Justice (CJ) Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry on Thursday disposed of suo motu notice taken on the killing of a youth in a fake police encounter in Nishtar Colony on June 11. Earlier, Additional Advocate General Punjab Muhammad Hanif Khatana told the court that four accused involved in the matter had been arrested and proceedings were in process. A challan had been presented in the trial court in which the accused were declared guilty.
During the proceedings, advocate Aftab Bajwa had requested the court to change the investigation officer for two accused constables, Asif and Abdul Qadir, and include Nishtar Colony Police station house officer (SHO)’s name in the case. The SHO’s name had been dropped from the case since he was a close relative of an additional inspector general of police, alleged the constables’ mothers. Reacting to the request, the CJ told Bajwa that if the two constables claimed to be innocent they should approach a trial court and prove so.
The CJ took suo motu notice of the killing of Shahbaz Butt, 22, on June 12. Police had staged a fake encounter in Nishtar Colony on June 11, gunning down the youth a few hours after locals had captured and handed him over to police for interrogation on suspicion of an armed robbery. Earlier, the CJ directed the trial court to decide the matter within 30 days after the receipt of challan. The court had also ordered establishing a forum headed by Deputy Inspector General Maj (r) Mubashir to address public grievances against fake police encounters.