ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Justice Aamer Farooq on Thursday criticised the Islamabad police over weak prosecution in criminal cases and urged them to learn investigation techniques.

CJ Farooq was presiding the two-member bench hearing appeals against the conviction of Zahir Jaffer in the Noor Mukadam murder case. During the course of the hearing, Usman Khosa, counsel representing Zahir Jaffer, pointed out contradictions in the contents of the first information report (FIR) registered in the case and the stance taken by the prosecution during the trial.

He argued that the police did not take the complainant’s cell phone into custody and added that only Zahir Jaffer’s mobile phone was confiscated. According to him, the record of the complainant’s cell phone was indispensable to prove that the complainant, Shaukat Mukadam, was in touch with the convict.

He argued that during the cross-examination before the trial court, the complainant had disclosed that he had received a call from Zahir Jaffer on WhatsApp. The bench inquired about the significance of any contradiction in the statement of the complainant.

The counsel responded that the case was based on the contact of Zahir Jaffer with Mr Mukadam. The high court on the other hand observed that the record showed that the convict made a phone call to the complainant. Mr Khosa told the court that as per the Call Details Record (CDR), the deceased, Noor Mukadam, was in contact with her mother and father. He further argued that the police produced a selected portion of the CCTV footage. However, his claim was contradicted by the counsel representing the complainant. According to the complainant’s counsel, the police submitted the complete CCTV record before the trial court.

The defence counsel argued that the prosecution did not establish the killing of Ms Mukadam as a planned murder.

The bench was of the view that it was not necessary to prove whether the murder was planned or unintentional. CJ Farooq asked if someone cannot commit murder without planning.

The counsel replied that the deceased made six calls to Zahir Jaffer while travelling from her home in Naval Anchorage to Jaffer’s house in Sector F-7 and added that the location of her last call was the outside of the convict’s residence.

He claimed that the statements of the witnesses contradicted the evidence and added that the benefit of doubt in the criminal proceeding goes to the suspect.

The counsel for TherapyWorks employees argued that the police unnecessarily expanded the scope of the case and implicated 12 persons. The lawyer added that no logic was given by the police for nominating the said employees as accused in the case.

The bench adjourned further hearing till December 6.

Noor, 27, was murdered and beheaded by Jaffer on July 20 last year. Following the gruesome incident, Jaffer was taken into the custody.

Later, the police widened the scope of the case and arrested Jaffer’s parents, domestic staff and workers of TherapyWorks.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2022

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