The Islamabad High Court on Thursday formally registered a criminal case against Zaheer Jafar, the prime suspect in the Noor trial murder case, and 11 others.
Two employees of the accused family – Jameel and Jan Mohammed – and 11 others, including Tahir Zahoor, chief executive officer of Therapy Works, have been charged.
Of the 12 persons charged by Additional Sessions Court Judge Atta Rabbani, six were brought to the court from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, while six others had earlier got bail from the court. All who were charged pleaded not guilty to the charges.
During the hearing, advocate Rizwan Abbasi, appearing for Zaheer’s parents, said that the evidence produced in the court has nothing to do with Zakir Jafar, so he cannot be held guilty in the murder case.
In response, Noor Mukadam’s father Shouk Mukadam’s lawyer submitted that the evidence can be reviewed during the trial.
“The accused is being charged, but he is yet to be convicted,” the lawyer said.
During the court proceedings, Zaheer continued to make remarks and said that the employees of the Therapy Works had forced their entry into the house.
Zaheer also apologized to Shaukat Mukadam in the courtroom and apologized.
Zaheer told Shaukat Mukad, “My life is in danger, please have mercy on me.”
The court, while concluding the proceedings, summoned the prosecution witnesses on October 20 and issued directions to start the trial immediately and complete it within two months.
On July 20, a 27-year-old woman, Noor Mukadam, was raped and murdered with a sharp-edged weapon within the limits of Islamabad’s Kohsar police station. A case of murder was later registered at the same police station by Noor’s father, former Pakistani ambassador Shaukat Ali Mukadam.
Zaheer Noor is the prime suspect in the Mukadam murder case. The heinous killing of Mukadam took place on July 20 in the F-7 area of Islamabad.
The Islamabad police arrested the suspect, Zaheer, from his house on the night of July 20, where, according to Noor’s parents, he killed her with a sharp weapon and beheaded her.
The gruesome incident sparked a nationwide campaign demanding justice for her, with #JusticeforNoor becoming a top trend on Twitter.
Islamabad court rejects bail plea of Zaheer Jafar’s parents
Earlier, the IHC had rejected the bail plea of Zaheer’s parents – Zakir Jafar and Ismat Adamji – in the Noor murder case.
The IHC also ordered the trial court to complete the trial within eight weeks. Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC gave a brief judgment at the outset. The detailed verdict was issued later.
Zakir and Ismat had filed bail pleas in the Noor Muqadam murder case saying they had nothing to do with Noor’s murder, while the police challan presented in the court stated that if Zaheer’s parents had called the police in time Had informed, Noor could have been saved.
What did the detailed judgment of the Islamabad High Court say?
In its detailed judgment, the IHC ruled that Zaheer Jafar’s parents committed the offense of aiding and abetting Noor’s murder.
The court said that Zaheer’s parents knew that their son had taken Noor hostage and despite knowing this, they did not share it with the police. The court said that the watchman had clearly stated that he had informed Zakir Jafar.
The detailed judgment also refers to the decisions of the SC.
The Supreme Court has held that aiding and abetting murder is as serious an offense as murder, the IHC said, adding that aiding and abetting an offense can also be direct, for which there is sufficient factual evidence.
According to the Black Law Dictionary, not doing one’s duty is also aid and abetment, the IHC ruling stated.
The court said that Zaheer, in his confession, had said that he had informed his father about Noor. The IHC said it is for the trial court to decide whether Zaheer’s statement is acceptable or not.
Zaheer’s parents challenge IHC’s bail dismissal in SC
After this Zaheer’s parents approached the Supreme Court for bail.
The petition, filed in the apex court by advocate Khawaja Harris, on behalf of Zaheer’s parents, has asked whether not reporting the “incident” counts as an aid to the offence.
The text of the petition states that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) wrongly reviewed Section 107 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The plea further states that there is no evidence that Zaheer’s parents knew the intentions of their son and that his bail application cannot be rejected on the basis of the statement of the co-accused.
It has been said in the petition that till now the full challan of the case has not been presented in the lower court, while the High Court has gone out of its jurisdiction by directing to complete the trial in two months.
The petition, filed in the SC, further said that delivering the verdict in two months is against the rights of suspects and the principles of transparent trial.
The petition further states that the police investigation into Noor’s murder case was one-sided and not impartial. The defendants will not be able to defend themselves properly in prison, arguing that it is too difficult for them to communicate with their lawyers in prison.