Centre rejects Punjab-led JIT on Wazirabad shooting.

LAHORE -- Amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed to probe the attempt on former premier Imran Khan's life in Wazirabad, the Centre has rejected the new team formed by the Punjab government and suggested that it reconstitute the body by giving intelligence officials a role to ensure fair investigation.

In a strongly-worded communique sent to the Punjab government on Wednesday, the federal government said it would not accept a 'controversial' police officer, Ghulam Mahmood Dogar, who had allegedly violated the orders of the establishment division in the past, as head of the JIT.

While the Ministry of Interior letter also raised some legal flaws in the new JIT constituted by the Punjab government, a sessions court in Wazirabad, in the meantime directed the same JIT to record the version of the petitioner and decided that a separate FIR of the shooting was not needed on the basis of new information.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Qasim Ali Bhatti observed in his order: 'After registration of an FIR, the investigating officer is to embark upon an exercise to discover the actuality of the matter irrespective of the version of the incident narrated in the FIR.' He explained that every new information received by the investigating officer or every new circumstance in which the relevant offence was committed coming to his notice did not require registration of a separate FIR. The court then disposed of the petition filed by PTI-Lahore secretary general Zubair Khan Niazi.

Court says no to second FIR, directs investigators to record petitioner's account instead

In its letter to the Punjab government, the interior ministry stated that the constitution of the JIT under Section 19(1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 requires inclusion of an officer of any other investigation agency, including an intelligence agency. The federal government pointed out that the JIT comprised five members, all belonging to the Punjab police, without representation of any other investigation agency/intelligence agency in the violation of the ATA.

'Moreover, it has been observed that Ghulam Mahmood Dogar, the Lahore CCPO who has been appointed as convener of the JIT had been suspended vide establishment division's notification issued on Nov 5, but...

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