ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Punjab Police Inspector General and IG prisons to provide a complete security to the suspect allegedly involved in the rape and murder of minor girl Zainab in Kasur.

READ MORE: The CSS sisters

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar issued the written order after the top court summoned TV anchor Shahid Masood after he made some “revelations” during a late night show about the suspected rapist and murderer stating that “the accused (Imran Ali) has over 37 bank accounts and he is a member of a racket, which also involves a minister”.

Six-year-old Zainab was kidnapped from near her aunt’s house on January 4 in Kasur before she was raped and murdered. Her body was recovered from a heap of garbage on January 9.

In the written order, the apex court directed the Punjab top police officers to form a joint investigation team to inquire about the TV anchor’s claims and submit a report within two days.

Additional Advocate General Punjab Asma Hamid told the bench that after Dr Masood’s programme, the Punjab chief minister has constituted a six-member investigation team, which also include representatives of the State Bank of Pakistan and the Intelligence Bureau.

Dr Masood appeared before a three-judge bench headed by the chief justice.

The chief justice addressing Dr Masood said, “Pardon us for summoning you”, and asked him that “you (must) get up late and probably would have received a call from his office at 10:00 am. Dr Masood replied, “he gets up early”. The chief justice said that “the late night you have made startling revelations in your programme about the accused and after that, a tight security is required for the alleged suspect”.

The chief justice said: “If your allegations are correct then it will be fine if not then ….”

Six minutes video of Dr Masood’s talk show was played in the courtroom. Dr Masood in his programme had claimed; “The accused, Imran, is not insane or fool. “There are 37 bank accounts in the name of Imran in Pakistan, and out of them, most are foreign currency accounts. The accused has the backing of some influential persons.” He had also alleged that “the suspect is a member of a pornography gang which also includes a Punjab minister”.

After watching the clip, the chief justice inquired from him whether he has anything additional besides what he had mentioned in the programme. Dr Masood replied in affirmative. Upon that, the chief justice said, “If the accused is in police custody, then the Punjab police are responsible for his protection but if he had been shifted to a jail, then the IG prisons would be responsible for his security”.

The chief justice directed Dr Masood to hand over a list of 37 bank accounts of Imran to AAG Asma for verification. Dr Masood said that “he has got this information in the Middle East where he had gone, and he has full details of the accused bank accounts”.

The chief justice said: “We are disturbed and like to go to the depth of this matter.” Justice Saqib ordered the court assistant to give paper and pen to Dr Masood and asked him to write the name of the person(s) about whom he had talked in his programme.

The anchor after writing the name gave the paper to the chief justice, who after seeing it, showed it to the other two judges sitting on the bench.

The chief justice asked him that “you have talked about two persons but you have written one name. Dr Masood then wrote the name of the other person on the paper and handed over it to the bench.

LHC ORDERS DAY-TO-DAY HEARING

Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah on Thursday directed an anti-terrorism court to hold day-to-day hearing of rape and murder case of seven-year-old Zainab of Kasur.

According to a notification with subject matter ‘Day-to-Day hearing of Zainab’s case’, the chief justice has directed Anti-Terrorism Court-I Judge Sajjad Ahmad to strictly observe and follow the provision of Section 19 (7) & (8) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. The CJ also directed the ATC judge to ensure decision of the case/FIR No. 08/2018 dated January 4 lodged with Kasur Police Station-A Division under Section 302, 363,, 364-A, 376, 377 of Pakistan Penal Code and Section 7-ATA within the stipulated period of seven days after taking cognizance of the same by proceedings with the trail on day-to-day basis.

On Wednesday, the same court had remanded Imran Ali, the suspected serial killer and rapist of child girls including Zainab Amin, into police custody for 14 days for further investigation.

Zainab was assaulted and killed in cold blood a couple of weeks ago, sparking violent protests across the country.

 

 

TERENCE J SIGAMONY