LAHORE -A writ petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court challenging Sessions Court’s order regarding registration of criminal case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, former Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, former Principal Secretary to CM Dr Tauqeer Shah, MNA Hamza Shahbaz, Federal Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Federal Information Minister Pervez Rasheed, Federal Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan, Federal Minister for Railways Kh Saad Rafiq, Federal Minister Abid Sher Ali and other officials including Inspector General Police, Punjab.
Federal Minister for Information Pervez Rasheed, Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq and State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali filed the petition through Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar.
Lahore High Court Registrar Office fixed the petition before Justice Iftikhar Hussain Shah, however, the judge refused to hear it and requested the Chief Justice to mark it to some other bench.
At this, acting Chief Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik fixed the petition before Justice Mahmood Maqbool Bajwa. The judge admitted the petition and adjourned it for August 25 (Monday).
It is important to note that Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmad is on a foreign visit when the country is passing through a serious political turmoil and the ruling party MNAs is filing petitions in the same court.
Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar, the petitioners counsel asked the LHC to set aside the order passed by an Additional District & Session Judge according to which Faisal Town SHO was directed to register an FIR against the petitioners and others including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on charges of killing at least 11 supporters of Pakistan Awami Tehreek outside Minhajul Quran Secretariat in Model Town on June 17.
He contended that Idara Minhajul Quran and PAT leaders including its chief Dr Tahirul Qadri had been expressing their distrust over police and could not join investigation team to probe the incident of Model Town.
He submitted that they were summoned by the police and a Joint Investigation Team time and again but to no avail. The counsel said that instead of joining the investigation team, Idara Minhajul Quran preferred to file a petition in the Sessions Court under Section 22 A 22 B of the Code of Criminal Procedure, seeking registration of FIR against the petitioners and others. He stated before the court that the order of the respondent Additional District and Sessions Judge was illegal and liable to be set aside. After the respondent party had shown distrust on police exercise of JIT regarding filing a plea before the Sessions Court was in futility. The petitioners counsel said that the judge ignored the fact that the version of the respondent had already been taken by the JIT during the investigation of FIR 510/14 registered by police.
He further said that five policemen were also arrested during the course of said investigation and there was no justification for registration of second FIR. The petition which was filed by Minhajul Quran was politically motivated and the order passed on it by the judge was in violation of Article 4 of the Constitution and it did not come under his jurisdiction in passing such impugned order, he added.
Relying on another argument, the petitioner counsel said that Cr.P.C (third Amendment) Ordinance of 2002 whereby Sub-Section 6 was added to Section 22-A and 22-B had laped while the sessions court no longer enjoyed the power to order lodging of an FIR.
He prayed to the court that ,therefore, the impugned order passed by the Sessions Court should be set aside. On August 16, 2014, Additional District and Session Judge Raja Muhammad Ajmal Khan passed the said order on the application filed by Minhajul Quran Secretariat. In his order, the judge observed that the respondent (SHO Faisal Town) could not discharge his legal obligation as he should have registered the FIR on the application filed by Minhajul Quran.
The judge also observed that in the FIR no 510/14, which was registered by the police, did not mention that whether any person had died during the clash or not and this fact by itself exposed the worth of registration of new FIR.
Jawad Hamid, Director Administration at Minhajul Quran Secretariat, had filed the petition submitting that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, former provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, former Secretary to Punjab Chief Minister Dr. Tauqeer Shah, MNA Hamza Shahbaz, Federal Ministers including Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Pervez Rasheed, Abid Sher Ali and Inspector General Police Mushtaq Sukhera, DIG operations Rana Abdul Jabbar, SP Model Town Tariq Aziz, SP Security Salman, SP Maroof Safdar Wahla, Khana, SHO Inspector Ishtiaq, SHO Nishtar Town Majeed Usman and other officials directly and indirectly were involved in killing of 14 persons and leaving 100 people as severely injured with bullets.
Mansoor Afridi Advocate argued on behalf of the Minhajul Quran stating that police registered two FIRs about the incident.
He contended that two FIRs of an incident cannot be lodged but the SHO did so, which showed malafide intentions.
He pointed out that Hussain Mohayyuddin was nominated in first FIR and Gullu Butt was not mentioned there while in the second FIR Gullu Butt was included and Hussain Mohayyuddin, the son of Dr Tahirul Qadri was excluded.
He said if an FIR could be registered on the complaint by police then why not by the aggrieved party. Their version was not heard and put in the FIR of the government, he further said.
He requested the court to direct police for registration of criminal case against the above said persons.
District Public Prosecutor Azhar Hussain, representing the government contended that FIR had already been registered and Joint Investigation Team had been constituted.
He told the judge that the petitioner should join the investigation team.
He argued that if the petitioner is not satisfied with the Joint Investigation Team then the registration of FIR on the application of the petitioner would be futile exercise.
After hearing both sides, the judge ordered police for registration of FIR against the said persons and proceed in accordance with the law.
At least 15 people died and about 100 people got serious injuries during clash between police and workers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek outside Minhajul Quran in Model Town on June 17.