Evidence be shared with accused in Noor case: IHC

Published October 27, 2021
This file photo shows the Islamabad High Court. — IHC website/File
This file photo shows the Islamabad High Court. — IHC website/File

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday ordered the prosecution in the Noor Mukadam murder case to share statements of the witnesses and other relevant evidence with the accused.

Justice Aamer Farooq, however, turned down a request seeking a copy of the CCTV footage that was used to implicate the domestic staff of the main accused and substantiated the allegations against the other accused persons.

Justice Farooq last week had reserved the decision on the petition filed by the owner of a therapy centre, Tahir Zahoor, seeking the evidence which the prosecution had planned to produce before the trial court of Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Atta Rabbani.

Earlier, the defence counsel had filed similar applications with the trial court which were dismissed on Oct 7.

Justice Farooq set aside the order of the trial court and allowed the petition.

The court order stated: “In view of foregoing, above mentioned Criminal Revisions are allowed to the extent that request of petitioners to provide statements under section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code either recorded separately or by way of draft are allowed and order dated October 7, 2021 is set aside to the said extent.”

The court turned down the request for the CCTV footage, observing that since the prosecution was supposed to produce the footage as evidence during the trial proceedings, the relevant time for seeking the footage is the cross-examination of the witnesses.

Justice Farooq rejected the objection on framing of charges against the accused persons, observing that an “ample opportunity was provided to the accused to examine the statements and documents before framing of charges.”

During the course of hearing on Oct 20, the petitioner’s counsel had stated that the indictment gave an impression as if it was carried out on the longing of the prosecution, adding the order suggested that the court can frame the charge against the accused persons while copying the police challan.

The petitioner sought the copies of evidence, including audio-visual material, which the prosecution had planned to lay before the court.

According to the charge sheet, Zakir Jaffer, the father of the main accused Zahir Jaffer, owner and workers of the therapy centre concealed the facts and caused disappearance of evidence in order to rescue the main accused.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2021

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