Supreme Court grants bail to Zahir Jaffer's mother in Noor Mukadam murder case

Published October 18, 2021
This file photo shows Zahir Zakir Jaffer's parents are brought to the court. — DawnNewsTV/File
This file photo shows Zahir Zakir Jaffer's parents are brought to the court. — DawnNewsTV/File

The Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to Asmat Adamjee, the mother of Zahir Jaffer, who is the prime suspect in the Noor Mukadam murder case.

The apex court approved the bail against a surety bond of Rs1 million while hearing a plea filed by Adamjee seeking her release. The court, however, rejected the bail plea of Zakir Jaffer — Zahir's father — and disposed of his petition.

In the last hearing on Oct 11, the Supreme Court had directed the prosecution to submit evidence against Adamjee.

While approving her bail request, the top court remarked that the role of Zahir's mother in the case was "secondary".

Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that apparently there was no evidence of Adamjee's involvement in the crime. "The record of 11 phone calls made by Asmat Adamjee is available," interjected Islamabad Advocate General Niazullah Khan Niazi.

Justice Bandial asked the authorities to determine why Therapyworks employees were called to the scene of the murder instead of police.

Meanwhile, the court turned down the petitioner's request to strike down the Islamabad High Court's (IHC) order of September 29 in which it had rejected the bail pleas of Zahir's parents. "We will not interfere in the high court's orders," the apex court said.

Earlier during the proceedings, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah asked whether a test to determine the mental health of the prime suspect had been conducted. The counsel for Noor's family, Advocate Shah Khawar, responded that Zahir had only been tested for drugs.

Justice Shah then inquired about the status of the case trial. The advocate general informed the bench that the suspects had been indicted with a direction to wrap up the case in eight weeks.

On Oct 6, Zahir's parents had filed separate petitions for bail in the apex court — nearly a week after the 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 applications stated that the case against the petitioners was not based on tangible evidence, rather the allegations against them were highly speculative.

Last week, the trial court had indicted 12 suspects in the Noor Mukadam murder case, including Zahir and his parents.

A day before the indictment, Zahir's parents had also approached the IHC seeking annulment of the sessions court's order to indict 12 suspects in the case.

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 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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