Noor Mukadam murder case: Islamabad court to indict suspects on Oct 14

Published October 7, 2021
Handcuffed Zakir Jaffer (L) — key suspect in Noor Mukadam murder — is seen outside a court in Islamabad. — Photo via Twitter
Handcuffed Zakir Jaffer (L) — key suspect in Noor Mukadam murder — is seen outside a court in Islamabad. — Photo via Twitter

A sessions court in Islamabad on Thursday fixed Oct 14 for the indictment of suspects in the murder case of Noor Mukadam — daughter of a former diplomat.

A total of 12 people will be indicted in the case, including Zahir Zakir Jaffer— the key suspect in Noor's murder — his parents Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee, 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.

In today's hearing, Additional Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani announced the new date for the indictments in the suspects' presence .

During the proceedings, Zahir sought the judge's permission to speak, before saying: "I apologise".

"You don't need to speak right now. We will listen to you during the trial," the judge responded.

Meanwhile, the court also rejected the suspects' request for a copy of the digital evidence in the case.

At the hearing a day earlier, Zakir's lawyer had contended that the court had given authorities seven days to indict his client who was not even aware of the evidence against him. He urged the court to charge the suspects after providing the documents that had been made part of the challan.

Adamjee's lawyer had also contended that the documents collected during the investigation should be provided to the suspects and referred to previous cases where this had been allowed.

He had claimed that the suspects had not been giving the forensic reports and certain matters were kept "confidential". He had also asked for more time before the court indicted the suspects. "In order to frame charges, time must be provided so that we can understand the evidence against the suspects," he contended.

Zahir’s parents were taken into custody on July 25 following their son's arrest for allegedly concealing material facts from the investigation team. Subsequently, they had approached a district and sessions court for bail.

The local court had on Aug 5 dismissed the post-arrest bail applications of Zahir Jaffer’s parents and observed that they abetted the murder of Noor and attempted to conceal material evidence.

Later, they approached the Islamabad High Court for bail which also rejected their plea and ordered authorities to keep them under detention until the completion of the trial.

On Wednesday, they filed a petition with the Supreme Court, requesting the apex court to approve their bail application and set aside the IHC order of Sep 29.

The case

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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