SC grants bail to mother of main accused in Noor murder case

Published October 19, 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

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday granted bail against a surety bond of Rs1 million to Asmat Adamjee, the mother of Zahir Jaffer, who is the principal accused in the Noor Mukadam murder case.

On the other hand, Zakir Jaffer, the father of Zahir, has challenged the charge sheet issued to him by the trial court.

Headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, a three-judge Supreme Court bench, ordered the release of Ms Adamjee under Section 497 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) under which the court can release an accused under the age of 16 years or any woman, a sick or an infirm person on the grounds that their role in the murder allegation was secondary.

Father’s bail plea disposed of, challenges indictment by trial court in IHC

However, the court disposed of a similar bail plea filed by Zakir Jaffer, the father of the prime accused, after it was withdrawn. The court directed the prosecutors to determine why the employees of a therapy centre and not the police were called by the family of the main accused to the scene of the murder.

The Supreme Court had taken up the bail pleas of Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee, the parents of Zahir Jaffer, in which the petitioners challenged the Sept 29 Islamabad High Court (IHC)’s rejection of their bail.

During the proceedings, Advocate General Niazullah Khan Niazi told the court that the record of 11 phone calls made by the mother of the main accused was available.

The apex court also rejected the request of the accused’s father to extend the time frame by overruling the Sept 29 IHC order of expeditious trial to conclude it within eight weeks from the date of framing of charges, stating that the apex court would not interfere in the proceedings of the high court.

Senior counsel Khawaja Haris Ahmed, while representing the father of the accused, pleaded before the court to order extending the time frame to six months instead of two months.

When Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, a member of the bench, asked if the mental health of the prime accused had been determined, Advocate Shah Khawar, representing the victim’s family, contended that he had been tested only for drugs.

In their bail plea, the petitioners had accused the police of conducting one-sided and biased investigations against them, adding that the impugned high court order of denying them bail was in effect arbitrary, capricious and based on unsubstantiated conjectures and surmises which should be set aside.

Moreover, the direction of the high court for expeditious trial to be concluded within eight weeks from the date of framing of charges was premature since even complete challan or a report under Section 173 of the CrPC had not been furnished in the case nor copies of all the documentary evidence referred to in the statements of witnesses recorded under Section 161 provided to the petitioners.

“In any case, direction given in the instant case is even otherwise without jurisdiction, being violative of the petitioner’s fundamental right to fair trial, especially since substantial defence of the petitioners which was available in the data contained in the mobile phones have been taken into possession by the investigation officer (IO) for forensic test.”

Thus the defence of the petitioners will be seriously prejudiced if the trial is directed to be commenced in the absence of the data.

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

Zakir Jaffer challenges indictment

Zakir Jaffer, the father of the principal accused, has challenged the charge sheet issued to him by the trial court.

Zakir Jaffer filed a petition against his indictment by Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Atta Rabbani in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The petition challenged the order of the trial court dated Oct 14 saying the indictment of the petitioner was not in accordance with law.

“The indictment gives an impression as if it was carried out on the longing of the prosecution,” the petition said, adding that the order suggested that the court can frame charges against the accused while copying the police challan and making it a mechanical exercise.

He requested the court to declare the indictment illegal.

The trial court has charged 12 accused in the Noor Mukadam case for 15 offences.

While the four charges were specific to the principal accused, Zahir Jaffer only, the fifth charge was against his parents for allegedly concealing facts from the police.

The charge sheet stated: “Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Zakir remained in touch with the accused Zahir Jaffer through telephone from Karachi and despite knowledge that the accused Zahir Zakir Jaffer had abducted Noor Mukadam, did not inform the police.”

The sixth charge was similar in nature as it stated that they did not disclose to the police that their son had planned to murder Noor.

The seventh charge accused Zakir Jaffer and the owner of a therapy centre, Tahir Zahoor, of “causing disappearance of evidence”.

The eighth charge was framed jointly against Zakir Jaffer, Asmat, Iftikhar (watchman), Mohammad Jan (gardener) and Jamil Ahmed (cook) that “they were well aware of illegal act and activities of Zahir” but they did not inform the police. The ninth and 10th charges are also jointly framed against Iftikhar, Mohammad Jan and Jamil for concealing the abduction of Noor and Zahir’s murder plan from the police. They have also been accused in the 11thand 12thcharge of not letting the deceased escape from the illegal confinement of Zahir.

The 13th, 14th and 15th charges were against Zakir, the owner and workers of the therapy centre, for concealing the facts and causing disappearance of evidence.

Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2021



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