LAHORE - The Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday disposed of the suo motu case of Kasur girl Zainab’s murder.
The three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, heard the notice at the Supreme Court Lahore Registry.
As the proceedings commenced, Inspector General of Police Punjab Arif Nawaz Khan, along with other senior police officers, appeared before the bench.
The IGP submitted that the charge-sheet had been filed against the accused whereas the accused had been sent to jail on judicial remand.
At this point, the chief justice appreciated the performance of the police and disposed of the matter while observing that there was no need of keeping the issue pending as the Challan had been filed against the accused in the court.
“The trial court is expected to expeditiously decide the matter as per directions of the Lahore High Court in the matter,” he added.
He further observed that the relevant persons could approach the court through an application for restoration of the matter if they had any complaint.
The Supreme Court had taken suo motu notice of murder of minor girl Zainab on January 10. Zainab was kidnapped on January 4 from near her aunt’s house in Kasur. Her body was discovered five days later from the garbage heap. On January 23, the Punjab government declared the arrest of the suspect accused Imran Ali after his DNA matched with the samples collected from the scene.
Trial of Zainab’s killer
An anti-terrorism court on Saturday handed over the copies of “challan” to the counsel of Imran Ali and directed the witnesses to appear on the next hearing.
ATC-I Judge Sajjad Ahmad took up the matter at Kot Lakphat Jail and adjourned further proceedings until February 12. It is likely that suspect Imran Ali would be indicted on Monday. During the proceedings, Punjab deputy prosecutor general Abdur Rauf Watto told the court that Imran Ali had confessed his crime and was involved in rape and murder of seven other children apart from Zainab Amin. He said the reports of the forensic science laboratory also established his involvement in all eight cases.
Police Friday charged the murderer and rapist of seven-year old Kasur girl of serial killings of at least seven other minor girls, as young as five. The high-powered joint investigation team submitted its 175-page findings report before Anti-Terrorism Court, and produced the handcuffed suspect Imran Ali before it amid tight security.
After thirteen days interrogation, Ali was charged with eight rape and execution-style murders that sparked countrywide outrage and brought international condemnation.
Police in 'challan' (investigation report) included 55 witnesses and said that his DNA report matched with the seven cases apart from Zainab 's case.
During the proceedings, a deputy prosecutor general told the court that the suspect had confessed to his involvement in the rape and murder of seven children in Kasur, apart from Zainab . He asked the court to remand the suspect to judicial custody as the police have completed their investigation. At this, ATC judge-I Sajjad Ahmed remanded the suspect to judicial custody and, on advice of the prosecutor, announced that the trial of the case would be held in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat Jail. According to the prosecution, the suspect would be handed over charge sheet on Saturday by the court and was likely to be indicted the same day.
Prosecutor General Punjab Ehtesham Qadir assisted the court who also constituted a three-member-prosecution team comprising Abdur Rauf Wattoo, Waqar Bhatti and Hafiz Asghar in the case. Prosecution claimed that there had been strong evidences of Imran Ali’s involvement in murder and rape of eight minor girls including his confessional statement but he had not recorded his statement before the court that he was involved in the murder and rape of the children.
The prosecution would produce the evidences before the court on regular basis so that the trial could be concluded within the given period of seven days.
On Jan 23, the police took Imran Ali into custody and secured his 16-day physical remand for investigation.
The Lahore High Court Chief Justice had also ordered the court to conclude the trial within seven days. Talking to the media after the hearing, the defence counsel said that there had been no ‘solid proof’ against the suspect while DNA report was not admissible in court. He claimed that the suspect was innocent and would be acquitted by the court.
On Jan 4, Zainab Amin, seven-year old child girl, was allegedly abducted by Ali Imran—the accused who was living in her neighbourhood in Kasur and on Jan 9, the body of the child-girl was recovered from a heap of garbage in the same locality. The other victim girls include Kainat, Laiba, Eman Fatima, Noor Fatima, Ayesha and Asma. The public demand for immediate arrest of the culprit resulted in an unprecedented search in which almost all law enforcement and secret agencies took part and a large pool of suspects were probed, besides carrying out DNA profiling of more than 1100 people.