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Noor Muqadam murder case

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC), Monday, maintained the capital punishment awarded to Zahir Jaffer by a trial court in the Noor Muqadam murder case.

A divisional bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan announced its verdict reserved on December 21 in the appeals filed by Zahir against his conviction and Noor’s father for enhancement of his sentence.

Besides maintaining his death sentence, the IHC bench also turned his life imprisonment into capital punishment.

Federal Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar and Parliamentary Secretary Mehnaz Akbar Aziz lauded the IHC’s decision, saying the law has taken its course and justice has been done with Noor Muqadam.

The IHC turned down Zahir, and his household staff Mohammad Iftikhar and Mohammad Jan both co-accused, appeals. They had challenged the trial court’s verdict.

A trial court had awarded a death sentence to Jaffer last February, while the two suspects Jan Muhammad and Muhammad Iftikhar, the gardener and security guard at Jaffer’s house were awarded 10 years of imprisonment each. The other suspects in the case including Jaffer’s parents, Zakir Jaffer and Ismat Adamjee, along with all employees of Therapy Works were acquitted by the court.

The convict also received a 25-year imprisonment sentence with hard labour and a fine of Rs0.2 million. Jaffer was also awarded a 10-year imprisonment sentence for the abduction and an additional one-year for keeping the victim in illegal confinement.

The IHC bench had reserved the verdict after hearing the arguments from parties in separate appeals against the death sentence handed out to Jaffer, and the acquittal of convicts and accused filed by Noor’s father. In this matter, Noor, 27 years old was found dead at the residence of the prime suspect, Jaffer, in Islamabad’s Sector F-7/4 on July 20, 2021. After a First Information Report (FIR) was registered under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) on behalf of Noor’s father — former Pakistani ambassador Shaukat Ali Mukadam — Zahir was arrested with a murder weapon and bloodstained clothes from the crime scene on the day of the killing.

According to Noor’s father, Zahir killed Noor with a sharp instrument and severed her head. In the investigations, Zahir’s parents were found involved in concealing evidence and assisting their son in the crime. Both Zahir’s mother and father were arrested on July 25, 2021. However, the couple was later granted bail on separate occasions as they reached out to higher courts for release on bail.

In this matter, six employees of Therapy Works, a leading therapy and drug rehabilitation centre in Islamabad, were also arrested. The organisation came under scrutiny after it was revealed that Zahir Jaffer had himself been associated with Therapy Works.

The trial of this murder continued for four months and eight days and it finally reached a decision in the high-profile case after multiple twists and deferrals on February 24 last year.

Then, an appeal was also filed in the IHC against the acquittal of nine accused in the Noor Mukadam’s murder case on March 12. The appeals were filed on behalf of Noor’s father via counsel Shah Khawar challenging the acquittal of Zahir’s parents Zakir Jaffer and Ismat Adamjee and domestic helper Jamil.

According to the appeal, there was digital evidence against the two and the trial court had given a reduced sentence. The appeal also challenged the acquittal of six Therapy Works employees including its CEO Tahir Zahoor.

Source: Business Recorder