The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday expressed its displeasure over Khyber Pakhtun¬khwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak initiating the process for formation of a judicial commission to probe the lynching of Mardan university student Mashal Khan last week.
Hearing a suo motu case into the student’s brutal murder at the hands of a mob, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar stopped the formation of the judicial commission, saying a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by Inspector General Police KP Salahuddin Khan Mehsud will continue to probe the incident instead.
“When a forum already exists for investigation, why did the chief minister [Pervez Khattak] announce this [formation of the judicial body]?” the chief justice asked.
He said the judiciary is already burdened with a number of cases. “We cannot burden it more.”
During the hearing, additional advocate general KP informed the court that an initial report of the incident has been submitted. He said two First Information Reports (FIR) of the case have been registered in which 28 suspects have been nominated. Out of these, 24 suspects have been arrested.
The KP police chief told the court that a JIT headed by a superintendent of police (SP) and comprising Intelligence Bureau and police officials has been formed to probe the incident.
IG Mehsud said 80 per cent of the investigation into the mob violence has been completed and a challan will soon be presented in the court.
Mashal’s murder a ‘tragic’ incident: CJP
The chief justice remarked that the judiciary had full confidence in the investigative institutions of the country but “this is not a usual incident”.
He said Mashal’s murder is “one of those tragic incidents in the country’s history which cannot be described in words”.
In light of this, Justice Nisar asked IG Mehsud why representatives of the armed forces had not been included in the JIT formed to probe the incident and directed him to do the same.
The chief justice noted that some confessional statements from suspects in the Mashal murder case were circulating on social media, and directed KP police to issue a press release in order to make the facts clear to the public.
The court directed IG Mehsud to personally supervise the investigation of the case and submit a progress report to the court on a weekly basis.
The KP police chief requested the court to hold a day-to-day hearing of the case.