ISLAMABAD: The counsel for Zahir Jaffer filed an application before the additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ) on Wednesday seeking constitution of a medical board to ascertain the mental health of the alleged murderer.

ADSJ Atta Rabbani resumed proceeding of the trial of the prime accused in Noor Mukadam murder case.

Advocate Sikandar Zulqarnain Saleem, counsel for Zahir, contended in the application that the accused was a chronic patient of mental disorder or schizoaffective disorder due to drug psychosis and the same was the position at the time of his arrest on July 20, the ill-fated day when he murdered Noor Mukadam.

The counsel requested the court to authorise setting up of a medical board to determine the lunacy and mental health of Zahir Jaffer in the interest of justice.

The application stated that the judge himself observed the demeanour, conduct and state of mind of the accused during his appearance before the court.

Zahir had disrupted proceedings during a hearing of the case on Nov 3, hurling obscenities at Judge Rabbani who had then directed the police officials to take him away. Video footage of the incident showed policemen dragging Zahir out of the courtroom.

The judge had warned Zahir in a written order that his court appearances would be disallowed if he continued his outbursts and did not rectify his behaviour. Zahir was expelled from the court once again on Nov 10 after he disrupted proceedings for witness cross-examinations.

Noor Mukadam, 27, the daughter of former diplomat Shaukat Mukadam, was found beheaded at a residence in Islamabad’s upscale F-7/4 neighbourhood on July 20.

Jaffer was arrested from the crime scene on the day of the murder and has been in custody since then.

At his indictment hearing in October, Jaffer admitted he had committed the “crime” but appealed to the judge to release him from jail and put him under house arrest.

The transcript of the CCTV footage showing events that preceded Mukadam’s murder was submitted by the prosecution last month.

It said the victim had jumped from the first floor of Zahir’s house but was prevented by the staff from leaving the premises.

Others charged in the case include Jaffer’s parents, Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee, three of their household staff Iftikhar, Jan Mohammad and Jameel and six workers from Therapyworks, a counselling centre from where Jaffer had received certification to become a therapist and where he had been receiving treatment in the weeks leading up to the murder.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2021

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