Model Town tragedy: LHC upholds decision to file FIR against PM, 20 others

LAHORE – The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday upholding the ruling of sessions' court in Model Town tragedy has ordered police to register a first information report (FIR) against the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) top leadership including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

On June 17, at least 11 workers of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) led by Dr Tahirul Qadri were killed and over 100 people injured in clashes with police at the PAT Secretariat in Model Town of Lahore. The PAT workers had submitted an application with police to file a FIR against a total of 21 people, which included the prime minister, Shahbaz Sharif, Nisar Ali Khan, Rana Sanaullah, Khawaja Saad Rafique, and others.

An additional district and session judge had ordered police to register the FIR on the request of the PAT, although the order was challenged in the LHC by four the PML-N federal ministers, Khawaja Asif, Pervaiz Rasheed, Saad Rafique and Abid Sher Ali.

The case was heard by Justice Mehmood Maqbool Bajwa of the LHC, who also directed the joint investigation team (JIT) to submit its report in court before the verdict was released. Reading out a short order, the high court upheld the lower court's ruling and dismissed the federal ministers' request not to file the FIR.

Earlier, the court dismissed a request by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to become a party in the appeal challenging the session court ruling. The request was filed by Zubair Khan Niazi on behalf of his party. The court dismissed it saying the PTI was not an aggrieved group and hence had no cause to become party in the case.

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