Pakistan

Noor Mukadam murder: SC seeks evidence against Zahir Jaffer’s mother in next hearing

The Supreme Court directed on Monday the prosecution to submit evidence against Asmat Adamjee, the mother of Zahir Jaffer, who is the prime suspect in the Noor Mukadam murder case. The direction came as the Supreme Court took up the bail applications of the suspect’s parents, Adamjee and Zakir Jaffer, for hearing.

On Oct 6, Zahir’s parents had filed separate petitions for bail in the Supreme Court — almost a week after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had rejected their bail pleas and ordered authorities to keep them in detention until the completion of the trial.

Moved through counsel Khawaja Haris Ahmed, the pleas stressed that the case against the petitioners was not based on tangible evidence, rather the allegations against them were highly speculative.

During the hearing today, Justice Umar Ata Bandial pointed out there was no mention of Adamjee in the IHC order denying bail to the duo. “We are just trying to get the hang of the Noor Mukadam case,” noted Justice Bandial.

Justice Qazi Amin remarked that Noor Mukadam’s murder was a sad incident, adding that “we sympathise with the family of the deceased”.

The petitioner’s lawyer, Khawaja Haris, told the court he had not yet received the forensic reports. He added that the IHC order to complete the trial in two months will affect the right to a fair trial.

The court, however, observed that while the right to a fair trial was a must, “but the delay in handling the case only adds to anxiety”.

As the hearing progressed, Justice Bandial said he had to leave for Lahore immediately due to death in the family. Adjourning the hearing till Oct 18, the court directed the prosecution to submit all the evidence against Adamjee by the next hearing.

Last week, a sessions court in Islamabad fixed Oct 14 for the indictment of suspects in the case.

A total of 12 people will be indicted in the case, including Zahir Zakir Jaffer, his parents, their three household staff Iftikhar, Jan Muhammad and Jameel and six Therapy Works employees including Tahir Zahoor, Amjad, Dilip Kumar, Abdul Haq, Wamiq and Samar Abbas.

The court had last month set Oct 6 for framing charges in the case, but deferred it after the suspects filed fresh petitions, seeking certain documents along with the copy of the challan.

Noor, 27, was found murdered at a residence in Islamabad’s upscale Sector F-7/4 on July 20.

A first information report (FIR) was registered later the same day against Zahir, who was arrested from the site of the murder, under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of the victim’s father, Shaukat Ali Mukadam.

Zahir’s parents and household staff were also arrested on July 24 over allegations of “hiding evidence and being complicit in the crime”. They were made a part of the investigation based on Shaukat’s statement, according to a police spokesperson.

In his complaint, Shaukat had stated that he had gone to Rawalpindi on July 19 to buy a goat for Eidul Azha, while his wife had gone out to pick up clothes from her tailor. When he had returned home in the evening, the couple found their daughter Noor absent from their house in Islamabad.

They had found her cellphone number switched off, and started a search for her. Sometime later, Noor had called her parents to inform them that she was travelling to Lahore with some friends and would return in a day or two, according to the FIR.

The complainant said he had later received a call from the suspect, whose family were the ex-diplomat’s acquaintances. The suspect had informed Shaukat that Noor was not with him, the FIR said.

At around 10pm on July 20, the victim’s father had received a call from Kohsar police station, informing him that Noor had been murdered.

Police had subsequently taken the complainant to Zahir’s house in Sector F-7/4 where he discovered that his “daughter has been brutally murdered with a sharp-edged weapon and beheaded”, according to the FIR.

Shaukat, who identified his daughter’s body, has sought the maximum punishment under the law against Zahir for allegedly murdering his daughter.

Police later said that Zahir had confessed to killing Noor while his DNA test and fingerprints also showed his involvement in the murder.


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