LAHORE -The law does not bar the Minhaj-ul-Quran administration from getting an FIR registered on the killing of its workers at the Minhaj Secretariat on Tuesday.
Lawyers on criminal side express common view that the Code of Criminal Procedure allows an aggrieved person to get his complaint registered with police who are bound to reduce it into a formal report as per the Police Order. They belie the stand taken by the police authorities against registration of an FIR by the Minhaj after a police person has already filed a complaint on the incident, which has been turned into an FIR. They quote the Supreme Court in Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto murder case wherein registration of a second FIR was allowed.
Regarding the decision of the Minhaj-ul-Quran to name the prime minister and the chief minister as well as police and administration officers as accused in the FIR, the lawyers say though they all can be named in the case, no trial of the PM and the CM will be held as long as they are in the office. They say if a complaint is filed, it would be primarily checked by the police to determine the nature of the offence and mark the relevant provision of the Pakistan Penal Code in the FIR. After that an investigation into the allegations would be conducted by the police or any superior investigating agency. The investigating officer would give his findings on the point whether prima facie the allegations require prosecution or not. However, he himself cannot take a final decision in either case and he has to resort to the relevant court of law to obtain its order. As to the nomination of the PM and the CM, they say, they may be named in the FIR, but no challan can be presented against them before the court of law as long as they are in the office. And the FIR along with investigation and findings of the IO would be put under seal to their extent and kept in the record for future use. Both the top functionaries enjoy immunity against the prosecution under Article 248 of the Constitution.
Jurists say a cross version or cross FIR is permissible under the law when two rival parties clash and each party has its own stand on the occurrence. For getting a cross FIR registered, sections 22 (a) and (b) of the CrPC are available to seek a remedy to this effect from the trial court.
They say the instant case is different from clash of rival parties as the police and administration officials have dominantly charged the Minhaj persons with firing, killing, attempted murder, creation of law and order situation etc.
The Minhaj-ul-Quran which lost its nine workers in the incident is naturally an aggrieved party and returns all these allegations to the police.
The police FIR names 53 Minhaj persons, almost all arrested during the police action on Tuesday, along with 3,000 unknown accused persons. The police had included Hussain Mohyuddin, the son of PAT Chief Dr Tahirul Qadri, in the accused persons.
Later, the police exonerated him of the allegations of passing threats to an administrative officer. After the exclusion of the name of the main accused from the FIR, the case of the government has become weak, which would give rise to the importance of the Minhaj-ul-Quran plea for registration of murder case, opine the lawyers on the latest development.