ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Saturday issued notices to newspaper owners and TV anchors to appear in person in Zainab murder case today (Sunday) at 10 am at Supreme Court Branch Registry Lahore.

The media persons include Hameed Haroon, Mir Shakeel-ur Rehman, Rameeza Majid Nizami, Fahad Hussain, IA Rehman, Muneeb ur Rehman Shami, Kamran Khan, Kashif Abbasi, Hamid Mir, Mian Amir Mehmood, Sarmad Ali (and Zia Shahid.

On January 24 late night, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar took suo moto notice of TV anchor Shahid Masood’s programme wherein he had claimed the accused, Imran Ali, who had allegedly raped and murdered Zainab, has 37 different bank accounts and he is a member of a racket.

The 8-year-old girl was kidnapped from near her aunt’s house on January 4 in Kasur. Later, her body was recovered from a heap of garbage on January 9.

The apex court, in view of Masood’s allegations, had directed the Punjab Police Inspector General and IG prisons to provide complete security to the alleged suspect. The court had also ordered that the joint investigation team should also inquire about the matter and submit a report within two days.

Masood in his programme had claimed that “the accused is not an insane or a fool and there are 37 bank accounts in the name of Imran in Pakistan, and of them, most are foreign currency accounts and he has the backing of some influential persons”. He had also alleged that the suspect was a member of a pornography gang which also includes a minister. He had also given names of two persons of the racket to the apex court.

Soon after the claims of Masood, the State Bank of Pakistan directed banks to ascertain the accusations of the anchor about the bank accounts of the accused. On the basis of the banks’ response, the SBP on Friday clarified that the suspect holds no commercial bank accounts.