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Noor Mukadam case: Isb police 'clarification' overshadows court proceedings

Updated 26 Jan, 2022
The judge asked when was this clarification was issued as he did not know about it. File photo
The judge asked when was this clarification was issued as he did not know about it. File photo

During the Noor Mukadam murder case hearing on Wednesday, Additional Sessions Judge Atta Rabbani said that action would be taken against Islamabad Police if the capital's law enforcement body issued a ''clarification'' regarding evidence against prime accused Zahir Jaffer.

The matter came to Justice Rabbani’s attention after Asmat Adamjee’s (Zahir’s mother) lawyer Advocate Asad Jamal asked for the police clarification to be made part of the record. The judge was unaware of any statement issued from the police, upon which Jamal alleged that the police was interfering with court proceedings.

The judge inquired if the tweet was an official clarification, upon which the prosecutor said he will inform the court if that was the case.

Upon this, the hearing was adjourned till February 2.

Clarification tweet

The tweet that Jamal was referring to was shared from the verified handle of the Islamabad Police on Tuesday. It stated that media had misinterpreted Monday's proceedings in which the investigation officer was cross examined.

The Islamabad police tweeted a detailed report of the Punjab Forensic Science Agency which contained comprehensive evidence which they believe was sufficient for the conviction of the accused in the Noor Mukadam murder case.

Wednesday's hearing

During the hearing, lawyer Akram Qureshi, who is representing Therapy Works employees, cross examined the Investigation Officer Abdul Sattar.

The IO narrated incidents of the night of the murder on July 20, 2021 and the recording of the incident. He wrote the death report and a report on various circumstances of the murder but the narration of incidents was different in both the reports, he told the court.

He added that he confiscated the laptop from the spot and not Muhammad Imran, who was in charge of the crime scene.

According to the report, ASI Zubair Mazhar, Constable Aqsa Rani and other household staff employed by Zahir arrived at the crime scene, where the complainant, victim's father Shaukat Mukadam, gave his statement to the police, he said.

As the police received information of the murder, the investigation officer reached Kohsar police station where the first information report of the case had yet to be registered at that time. He did not register the FIR as the complainant, the IO said, adding he did not know that Raza Muhammad was the duty officer in the police station.

During the cross-examination, it was also argued who arrived at the crime scene first.

When asked whether it was ASI Basharat Rehman or the investigation officer, the IO said he arrived at the crime scene first and informed the court that he was not present at the spot at 9:30pm on July 20.

As the IO reached the spot he said he saw the police officers had gotten hold of the prime accused Zahir but this was not visible in the DVR. And according to the DVR, Therapy Work employees had not brought the prime accused to the car in an injured condition, he added.

The cross-examination then turned toward a Therapy Works employee, also an accused in the case, Mudassir Aleem whose name was written as Muhammad Mudassir in the case dairy and the mistake was not mentioned anywhere in the police diary or in the documents submitted in the court later.

Lawyer Qureshi also asked the IO about statements by Therapy Works employees who claimed to have gone to the crime scene to provide first aid.

At this the investigation officer said the employees of the psychotherapy centre had said they arrived at the spot on the orders of CEO Tahir Zahoor.

Then the discussion moved towards Amjad Mahmood, another employee of Therapy Works, who was injured at the crime scene. Rescue 15 informed the police that an injured person arrived at the Pims Hospital from F-7 area. Following the information, ASI Zubair Mazhar went to the hospital to record his statement.

The IO also clarified that neither did he have a meeting with the medical officer who treated Mahmood nor did he receive his medical certificate.

He added the police did not seize blood stained clothes of the injured Therapy Works employee as it was not mentioned in the case diary that Mahmood left the hospital without informing them.

It came to light that Mahmood's blood was also found on the spot as the report of all samples came to surface, the IO said.

After his cross-examination came to a close, the investigation officer said he wanted to straighten the record. At which lawyer Asad Jamal in a jibe told him that IG police would do this in a "clarification statement".

Then lawyer Sajjad Ahmed Bhatti who was representing three household staff members of the Jaffer family, Iftikhar, Jan Muhammad and Jameel, began his cross-examination of the IO.

The crime map did not mention main gate of the house where Noor was murdered, while the presence of the three household staff was also not visible in it, the IO told the court.

He added that the IO and Shaukat Mukadam watched the CCTV footage on the midnight of July 20 and 21 together and the complainant did not nominate the three household staff in the case by July 23. However, Mukadam mentioned their names on July 24.

Talking about the call data record of the slain Noor's mobile, the IO said her mobile was on from July 18 till the morning of July 20 during which she received and sent calls and messages. However, she did not mention any threat to Rescue 15, a police station or any loved one during the same time period.

The IO added no eye-witness of the murder has so far appeared in the case.

To note the time at which Therapy Works employees entered Zahir's house, lawyer Qureshi requested the court to play the CCTV footage. Judge Rabbani granted the permission, while the journalists and people not connected to the case were asked to leave the courtroom and the in-camera hearing of the case began.

Later, the court adjourned hearing of the case till February 2 in which lawyers Shahzad Qureshi and Asad Jamal would continue cross-examination.

Noor Mukadam, the 27-year-old victim, was brutally murdered in Jaffer's home in Islamabad on July 20, 2021. Zahir, his parents, their household staff and six members of Therapy Works, a counselling and psychotherapy centre, have been indicted in the case on October 14, 2021.