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Islamabad court to announce Noor Mukadam case verdict on Thursday

Updated 22 Feb, 2022
Noor Mukadam, the 27-year-old victim, was brutally murdered in Jaffer's home in Islamabad on July 20, 2021. File photo
Noor Mukadam, the 27-year-old victim, was brutally murdered in Jaffer's home in Islamabad on July 20, 2021. File photo

An Islamabad sessions and judge court on Tuesday reserved the verdict in the Noor Mukadam murder case and will announce it on February 24 (Thursday).

Noor Mukadam, 27, was found brutally murdered at the Islamabad residence of the prime accused Zahir Jaffer on July 20, 2021.

On the complaint of victim's father, former ambassador Shaukar Mukaddam, the police registered a first information report against Jaffer — who was arrested from the crime scene — and charged him under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Zahir, his parents — Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee Jaffer, their three household staff — Jamil, Jan Muhammad and Iftikhar, and six members of Therapy Works, a counselling and psychotherapy centre, including its chief executive officer Tahir Zahoor were indicted in the case on October 14, 2021.

In Tuesday's hearing of the case, which was conducted by Additional Session Judge Atta Rabbani, the complainant Mukadam's lawyer Nisar Asghar, while presenting final arguments in the case, asked why Therapy Works CEO did not present his statement on oath under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

Citing multiple incidents on the day of crime, the complainant's lawyer told the court that a number of unknown people were visiting the crime scene soon the murder had happened. If it was in the power of Mukadam, he would have locked the main gate of the house where Noor was murdered, he added.

Asghar also presented counter-arguments on a point raised by lawyer Sajjad Ahmed Bhatti, who represented three of the Jaffer's household staff members. According to the defendants' lawyer the crime map was being drawn in the police station at the request of the investigation officer and the map did not specify the location of the three people.

In his arguments, the complainant's lawyer said if everything was decided in the police station then the FIR would not have different handwritings.

In a hearing of the case on February 16, Advocate Sikandar Zulqarnain Saleem, who was representing Zahir Jaffer, accused Mukadam of killing Noor, saying the victim could have been murdered as an honour killing.

Presenting his arguments on the point, Asghar talked about the exact time at which the victim's father was informed about the murder and then he filed the complaint. According to the complainant, he was informed about the incident at 10pm on July 20 and his statement was recorded on 11:45pm the same day.

The complainant's lawyer also challenged the defendants' lawyers to prove that Mukadam had reached the crime scene before 10pm as they had all the copies of call detail records (CDR) and digital video records (DVR).

Prosecutor Rana Hassan Abbas also presented his final arguments in the case, briefing on the contents of DVR in which the victim could be seen making attempts to save her life. He gave a reference to the report of Punjab Forensic Science Agency report that stated that the contents of the DVR were original and that no tempering was being made in it.

He also added that the victim was being tortured before killing and the DVR was proof of this.

Advocate Shah Khawar, who is also representing Shaukat Mukadam in the case, in his final arguments in the case said all the evidence provided in the case, including DVR, CDR, forensic and DNA, was strong and they had been included on the basis of scientific methods.

The prosecution had proved its case against the accused, said Khawar, requesting the court to give severe punishment to all the accused in the case.

Following the completion of final arguments in the case, Judge Rabbani reserved the verdict in the case and announced that it would be issued on Thursday.