LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Monday issued notice to Advocate General Punjab to submit reply on a petition filed by three federal ministers challenging a sessions court’s order regarding registration of criminal case against the prime minister, Punjab chief minister and 21 others over Model Town incident.

Justice Mahmood Maqbool Bajwa of the LHC passed this order. The judge also sought reply from the Idara Minhajul Quran and adjourned further proceedings till Tuesday (today).

Representing the Punjab government, Advocate General Punjab Haneef Khatana sought time from the court to submit report which was accepted.

Earlier, Advocate Azam Nazir Tarar, the counsel for three federal ministers, appeared before the judge and argued that Idara Minhajul Quran and Pakistan Awami Tehreek leaders including Dr Tahirul Qadri had expressed distrust over police and avoided joining investigation of the incident.

The counsel said nobody turned up on behalf of the Minhajul Quran or PAT despite several invitations by police and a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) made by the government for an impartial investigation of the June 17 incident.

He further argued that the petition filed by the Minhajul Quran before the sessions court was politically motivated while Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and others, named as suspects in the application of Minhajul Quran, had no link with the incident.

An ordinance whereby sub-section 6 was added to section 22-A and 22-B of Cr.P.C. had lapsed and the sessions court no longer enjoyed the power to order lodging of an FIR, he argued.

Federal Minister for Information Pervez Rasheed, Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq and State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali had filed the petition against the order passed by a sessions judge.