ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the prosecutor to submit “evidence” against the mother of Zahir Jaffer, the prime suspect in the Noor Mukaddam murder case.

A three-judge SC bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, gave the order after it took up a bail plea filed by Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee, the parents of Zahir Jaffer, in which the petitioners challenged the rejection of their bail by the Islamabad High Court on Sept 29.

The bench wondered why Asmat Adamjee, the mother, had been implicated in the case and where her name was mentioned in the IHC order.

Khawaja Haris Ahmed, who moved the bail plea, recalled that the parents of the prime suspect were in Karachi at the time of Noor Mukaddam’s murder in Islamabad on July 20.

The hearing was put off till October 18 because of a death in Justice Umar Ata Bandial’s family.

Khawaja Haris had moved a set of two petitions before the Supreme Court with a plea to order Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee’s release on bail after setting aside the IHC directive to keep them in Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail until the murder trial was over.

The petitioners held out an assurance that they would be present at every hearing and undertook to furnish bail bonds.

They argued that their detention was likely to hinder access to their counsel for instructions and preparation of the defence case.

The continuing detention was in breach of the principle that an accused was to be presumed innocent unless proven guilty and that no one was to be punished without a trial, Zahir Jaffer’s parents argued.

“Given the fact that the investigation is complete, no useful purpose will be served by keeping the petitioners in prison during the trial,” they contended.

They emphasised that the case against them was not based on “tangible eviden­ce” and the allegations were “highly speculative”. The petitioners accused police of conducting a one-sided and biased investigation against them.

The Islamabad High Court’s directive that the trial be concluded within eight weeks from the date of framing of charge was premature since a complete challan, or report under Section 173 CrPC, had not been submitted nor copies of all documents referred to in the statements of witnesses been provided to the petitioners.

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2021

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