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Three days for JIT to probe Zainab case: SC

22 January, 2018

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LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Sunday gave three days to a joint investigation team formed to probe the rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab in Kasur to complete the investigation and submit report.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing the suo motu case at the Lahore registry of the Supreme Court.

At the outset, Regional Police Officer (RPO) Multan Muhammad Idrees, who is heading the joint investigation team, submitted progress report to the bench. He informed the court that Zainab’s rape and murder was the eighth incident of similar nature that had taken place in Kasur since June 2015. These incidents occurred within the limits of three police stations and DNA test results indicated that one culprit was involved in all these cases, he said.

“Several similar incidents had taken place in the same city … what police has done so far to arrest culprits?” the chief justice asked. The incidents took place within the jurisdiction of two police stations but no one bothered to carry out an inquiry, he observed.

Expressing dissatisfaction over progress in the investigation, Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik remarked that the investigators were focusing just one angle of the case. He directed the police to probe the case in multiple traditional ways, reminding it that DNA testing was not the only way to trace the culprits. “If police continues the probe in this way, DNA tests of 210 million people will have to be conducted,” he remarked.

The JIT head told the bench that he had some sensitive information about the case which couldn’t be shared in the courtroom, prompting the bench to conduct the hearing in-camera.

Zainab’s uncle and family members of seven other minor victims appeared before the court, which took up the case despite weekly holiday. “Give us justice,” they pleaded before the court. The chief justice told Zainab’s family that they should inform the court of any complaints they may have. “The JIT is doing satisfactory work,” the family members responded. “We pray that the team is successful [in it’s probe],” they added. The bench summoned the JIT and other parties in the case to appear in the court chambers for the next hearing.

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