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January 17, 2018

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Parliament, judiciary have to be brought closer: CJP

ISLAMABAD: The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Mian Saqib Nisar, on Tuesday remarked that he had repeatedly said that parliament was the supreme institution but unfortunately no law had been promulgated for protection of child rights.

The observation from the country’s top judge came during the hearing of suo moto case of six-year-old Zainab’s rape and murder by a three-member bench. The chief justice said there was a need for bringing parliament and the judiciary closer to each other adding that he was ready to meet parliamentarians for bringing reforms.

The chief justice said he had already requested the Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani for a meeting. He observed that there should be close communication between the courts and police in order to tackle cases related to heinous crimes.

The chief justice observed that it would be a failure of both the government and police if the culprit involved in rape and murder of Zainab was not brought to justice. He said the Lahore High Court had no powers to take suo moto notice of any incident and halted its proceedings in the case.

The court summoned the entire investigation team at the Lahore Registry branch of the apex court next Sunday, January 21. Four agencies — Counter Terrorism Department, Intelligence Bureau, Special Branch and the Punjab Forensic Science Agency — are involved in the case.

The court noted that the whole nation was grieving the death of the minor, whose body was found on a garbage heap in Kasur on January 11. Additional Inspector General (AIG) of Punjab Police Abubakar Khuda Bukhsh told the court that the person behind Zainab's murder was a serial killer.

The chief justice remarkedthat he was seeing no progress in the case and warned that the IGP Punjab will have to go home if the case was not solved to the court’s expectation. He said the parents of the minor girl were getting nothing but empty assurances.

He emphasised that the culprit should be arrested rather than being killed in an encounter. “The court does not want someone else to be killed in encounter,” said the chief justice. He further observed that the gap between the judiciary and police must be bridged so that mistakes that made by the latter in such cases could be avoided.

"The police do not take guidance from the court's decisions. The same mistakes are made in all such cases," he said. "We are trying to bridge the gap between the courts and the police. Why shouldn't there be communication between the courts and the police?

“Poor investigation by the police always benefits the accused. We will soon hold a judicial conference on defects in investigation leading to acquittal of accused. The conference will be addressed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa,” said the chief justice.

He said the Tayyaba torture case was already with the court but unfortunately there had been no legislation on protection of child rights. AIG Police Khuda Bukhsh told the court that the time for the arrest of rapist and killer could not be given at the moment. He, however, informed the court that 1,100 suspects had been interrogated and DNA tests of 400 people conducted so far.

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