Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Noor Mukadam murder: IHC issues notice on plea for Zahir Jaffar's medical examination

Jaffar's lawyer tells court Noor was in contact with her mother who was not included in investigation

Pakistani-American Zahir Jaffer, the main convict in the Noor Muqaddam murder case, arrives in court in Islamabad. — AFP/File
Pakistani-American Zahir Jaffer, the main convict in the Noor Muqaddam murder case, arrives in court in Islamabad. — AFP/File

  • Khosa tells court Noor's WhatsApp call records unavailable.
  • Jaffar's counsel argues trial court sentenced his client on basis of a video.
  • Court sentenced Jaffar to death with Rs500,000 fine as compensation to victim's heir.

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court Tuesday issued notices to the prosecutor and plaintiff while hearing a petition seeking to conduct a medical examination of Zahir Jaffar — the main convict sentenced in the Noor Muqaddam murder case.

The stance of the two parties will be heard on the matter after which the court will decide whether to approve or reject the request.

The notice was issued when the IHC’s two-member division bench, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan, heard the appeal against Jaffar’s conviction in the case.

Earlier this year, convict Jaffar was sentenced to death and fined to pay Rs500,000 as compensation to the heirs of the deceased as required under Section 544-A of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Zahir’s counsel Usman Khosa, during his argument, said that the trial court sentenced his client after only watching the video. He added that the first information report includes the mention of Noor’s calls with her parents; however, their phones have not been confiscated.

According to Noor’s call records, Khosa said that she was in contact with her mother; however, she was not included in the investigation. If a statement from the victim’s mother was taken, there would have been enough transparency in the case.

Khosa said that no calls were made to the police from Noor’s mobile phone while she was present at Jaffar’s house. He added that no relative was called and informed about her life being in danger.

Khosa told the court that Noor called her mother on July 19, 2021 informing her about going to Lahore; however, record of this call is unavailable.

Justice Sardar Khan, while commenting about Noor’s call records, said that Call Detail Records (CDR) only show data of calls made via telecom services, not WhatsApp. In response to this, Khosa said that while WhatsApp’s data can get deleted from the phone, it is possible to recover it.

The convict’s lawyer added that no attempt was made to recover the WhatsApp data. Khosa said that even though Noor came to Jaffar’s house willingly on July 18, 2021, but the trial court also indicted him for abduction.

He added that the trial court relied on the CCTV and the offence does not get proven by merely playing a video. “Only one item has matched with the accused, but the trial court did not summon the scientific officer, who conducted the forensic, as a witness.”

Khosa said that only a 2.5-inch blade and a 3.5-inch handle were recovered from the scene. “A pistol was also present in the house, which could have been used for the murder; however, it wasn’t used,” Jaffar’s counsel told the court.

The hearing of the petition was adjourned until tomorrow December 7.