Court reserves judgment in Zahir Jaffer’s parents bail case
The separate lawyers for Zahir Jaffer’s mother and father argued that Asmat and Zakir had nothing to do with their son’s actions, could not have erased evidence and were in Karachi when the murder took place, which is why they should be granted bail.
A judge has reserved judgement for a day on whether to grant bail to the parents of Zahir Jaffer, who is the key accused in the Noor Mukadam murder case. (Update: The bail was rejected on Thursday. This story was updated on Thursday, August 5).
On Wednesday, Additional Sessions Judge Muhammad Sohail held the hearing in which some new facts were put on record. The court proceedings took around two and a half hours with the defense counsels pleading the court award bail to Asmat Adam, the mother, and Zakir Jaffer, the father, of Zahir.
Who’s who in the case:
Key accused: Zahir Jaffer (lawyer Mohammad Daniyal)
Zahir’s father: Zakir (lawyer Rizwan Abbasi)
Zahir’s mother: Asmat Adnan (lawyer Asad Jamal)
Noor Mukadam’s father: Shaukat Mukadam (lawyer Shah Khawar)
The defense counsels prayed the court that there were sufficient grounds to award bail but the prosecution argued that there were enough reasons to believe that prima facie his parents had a connection with the murder case.
Defense counsel for Zakir Jaffer, Rizwan Abbasi, said that on July 20 at 11:30pm a case for murder was registered on the complaint of Shaukat Mukadam, Noor’s father. He read the contents of the FIR in court and maintained that later on, three more sections were added to the FIR. He argued that initially there was no mention of Zakir Jaffer in the case.
The defense counsel was of the view that his client (the father) had since day one publicly maintained that he was standing with the affected family and by no means would they stand with his son.
He said that a supplementary application in the case was registered on July 24 on the basis of the investigations and statement of the key accused before the police. According to the police investigation, Zahir confessed that Noor was not ready to marry him which is why he killed her by slitting her throat.
Moreover, according to the prosecution, the lawyer stated, Zahir had told the police that his father had told him that he would help with some way out and that therapists would get rid of the body. But according to the Abbasi, the statement of the accused to the police cannot be presented in court as a piece of evidence.
Abbasi quoted judgments to support his argument. He said that his client (Zahir’s father) was not aware of what was going on at his home in Islamabad. He said that under the law, his client was not bound to inform the police about a possible mishap. His client was in Karachi and he took a flight to Islamabad as soon as he learnt about the incident.
Abbasi said no credible data in form of messages, call recordings or WhatsApp messages were available to establish that Zahir’s parents had any knowledge of a crime being committed. He said all call data associated with the murder case falls in the routine calls category. Moreover, people sitting in Karachi cannot destroy evidence for a case in Islamabad. He said his client was a gentleman, a businessman, and they do not have any connection with the act of their son.
The lawyer said when the parents learnt about their son’s drug use, they stopped giving him pocket money. Earlier, they sent him to the US where he became addicted and they brought him back and admitted him to a rehabilitation centre.
Their lawyer argued that the parents are ready to face trial but if nothing is proven against them, then who would be responsible for their detention?
Zahir’s mother Asmat Adnan’s lawyer is Asad Jamal. He argued for her bail application, saying that Zahir Jaffer was an adult of 28 years and was independent in his affairs. To this point, the judge said that when there was talk about pocket money being stopped it proves that he was not an “independent”.
The defense lawyer argued, how can a mother assess that her son would commit a murder?
Shah Khawar, who is representing Noor’s father, stated that the CDR and CCTV records establish the point that the parents are connected with the murder case. He talked about the calls which Zahir made to his parent on July 20, when Noor was murdered.
He said the principal accused made a call at 6:35pm to his father for 112 seconds and later another call at 6:37pm for 74 seconds. He argued that according to the records, the offense of murder had not been committed by that time.
He said Zahir made another call at 7:29pm to his father, which was 46 seconds long. Then Zahir made a call to his mother Asmat at 3pm for 1,055 seconds and this was the period when Noor was in his possession.
He said Asmat made a phone call to her husband for two minutes and 36 seconds. Khawar said that the chowkidar Iftikhar made a call to Asmat at 6:41pm for 56 seconds and again at 6:48pm for 71 seconds.
He said that Noor jumped from the balcony and attempted to escape and Zahir ordered his chowkidar not to allow her to escape. Again Iftikhar made a call to Asmat, the lawyer said, and maintained that Zahir’s parents were aware of what was happening in their home.
“The police station from their home is just half a kilometer away and instead of calling the police, they asked for the services of therapists,” Shah Khawar said. It is not true in legal terms that they were not bound to inform the police, he added. He was of the view that prima facie they are also connected to the murder crime.
Public prosecutor Nasim Zia argued that the accused was in contact with his parents and they did not bother to inform the police. He said when the servant made the call, then the murder was taking place. He said a pistol has also been seized and its license is in the father name. “It is becoming a chain, which is evident from the CCTV footage and CDR. It’s a matter of dishonesty that they made attempts to rescue their son,” he said.
Moreover, he requested the court to reject the bail application at this juncture.
Defense counsel Rizwan Abbasi responded to these points stating that the murder was not committed with the pistol. He said that the culprit should be punished and his client would side with the complainant.
After hearing these arguments, the judge reserved the judgment for one day. Whether Zahir’s parents get bail or not will be announced on Thursday.
Noor, 27, the daughter of former diplomat Shaukat Mukadam, was found murdered at a residence in Islamabad’s Sector F-7/4 on July 20.
An FIR was registered later the same day against Zahir, who was arrested from the scene of the murder, under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of the victim’s father.