Model Town clashes: LHC upholds order to register FIR against PM, Punjab CM

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 3:49:15 by

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday upheld a sessions court’s decision to register FIRs against the PML-N’s top leadership, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over the Model Town tragedy, while dismissing a petition from four PML-N federal ministers against the decision.

In his short order, Justice Mahmood Maqbool Bajwa observed that the petitioners failed to establish their case. However, the judge directed the police to complete investigations before arresting any person named in the Minhajul Quran Secretariat application.

Earlier, a sessions court had ordered police to register murder cases against 21 federal and provincial authorities including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. However, Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique and Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali challenged the order in the Lahore High Court.

During the course of hearing, Minhajul Quran’s counsel Mansoorur Rehman Afridi said police had deliberately ignored substantial evidences and statements of eyewitnesses and lodged a one-sided FIR on the complaint of a police official.

Further, Afridi said the FIR registered by the police had no value in the law, adding a bench of Sindh High Court had ordered a third FIR to be registered in the same case.

The joint investigation team (JIT)’s head additional Inspector General Arif Mushtaq also appeared and submitted a report to the judge in his chamber.

Petitioner’s counsel Azam Nazir Tarar argued that Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leaders including Dr Tahirul Qadri refused to join the investigations. Tarar added nobody turned up on behalf of the Minhajul Quran or PAT despite several invitations by police and the joint investigation team (JIT), made by the government for an impartial investigation of the June 17 clashes.

Further, Tarar alleged the petition filed by the Minhajul Quran before the sessions court was politically motivated. “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and others named as suspects in the application of Minhajul Quran had no link with the incident,” he said.

Tarar also argued that an ordinance whereby sub-section 6 was added to section 22-A and 22-B of Cr.P.C. had lapsed and the session’s court no longer enjoyed the power to order lodging of an FIR.

Advocate General Punjab Hanif Khatana said the sessions court passed the order without viewing investigation reports of the joint investigation team and police.

However, the LHC dismissed the petitions while also dismissing a petition demanding implementation of the sessions court’s order filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Zubair Niazi. The judge observed that the petitioner was not the aggrieved party in this case.

Lahore News Sources -2

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