General

SC summons JIT probing rape, murder of Zainab on Sunday

The Supreme Court has summoned the joint investigation team (JIT) probing the rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab on Sunday.
The directions were given as the Supreme Court began hearing the case based on a suo motu notice of the incident by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.
Zainab was kidnapped on January 4 from near her aunt’s house in Kasur. Her body was discovered five days later from a garbage pile. The post-mortem report revealed that Zainab had been raped and murdered.
Read more: CM Shahbaz meets bereaved family of Zainab
As the hearing went under way, Punjab additional inspector general (AIG) and advocate general (AG) appeared in court after they were summoned a day earlier.
Addressing the officials, the chief justice remarked that no significant progress in the case is visible so far, adding that “you can inform us in our chambers if you need to”.
“The whole nation is upset over the incident. What has been done in the case so far,” the chief justice inquired.
Also read: Minor girl allegedly raped, murdered in Kasur
The AIG said investigations are under way, whereas the AG informed the bench that around 1,100 suspects have been questioned in the case.
“If the problem isn’t solved then it’ll be a failure of the government and police,” the chief justice observed, adding that the same mistakes are made in every case after which suspects are exonerated due to shoddy investigations.
The AIG informed the court that eight similar cases emerged in Kasur since the last year and a half.
Explore: Zainab Case: Punjab Govt Announces Rs10mn For Culprit Identification
Addressing the matter of the same case being heard by the Lahore High Court (LHC), the chief justice remarked that high courts do not have suo motu jurisdiction and restrained it from hearing the case.
Chief Justice Nisar then summoned the JIT, formed to probe the incident, at the next hearing on Sunday, which will be heard in the Lahore Registry.
Chief Justice Nisar had taken a suo motu notice of the case on January 10. After the Supreme Court had taken notice, the Punjab Police submitted a report to the court on January 11.
The report had provided details of Zainab’s kidnapping and the ongoing investigation.
LHC Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah remarked on Monday that the Punjab government and police appeared non-serious in the case.
Chief Justice Shah made the remarks after the non-appearance of the Punjab police chief while hearing the suo motu notice of Zainab’s case.
“Had the government taken action against similar suspects earlier, the present incident would not have occurred,” the LHC chief justice observed.