SC grants bail to mother of main accused in Noor murder case

The Nation  |  Oct 19, 2021

The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday granted bail against a surety bond of Rs1 million to Asmat Adamjee, the mother of Zahir Jaffer, who is the principal accused in the Noor Mukadam murder case.

On the other hand, Zakir Jaffer, the father of Zahir, has challenged the charge sheet issued to him by the trial court.

Headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, a three-judge Supreme Court bench, ordered the release of Ms Adamjee under Section 497 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) under which the court can release an accused under the age of 16 years or any woman, a sick or an infirm person on the grounds that their role in the murder allegation was secondary.

However, the court disposed of a similar bail plea filed by Zakir Jaffer, the father of the prime accused, after it was withdrawn. The court directed the prosecutors to determine why the employees of a therapy centre and not the police were called by the family of the main accused to the scene of the murder.

The Supreme Court had taken up the bail pleas of Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee, the parents of Zahir Jaffer, in which the petitioners challenged the Sept 29 Islamabad High Court (IHC)’s rejection of their bail.

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During the proceedings, Advocate General Niazullah Khan Niazi told the court that the record of 11 phone calls made by the mother of the main accused was available.

The apex court also rejected the request of the accused’s father to extend the time frame by overruling the Sept 29 IHC order of expeditious trial to conclude it within eight weeks from the date of framing of charges, stating that the apex court would not interfere in the proceedings of the high court.

Senior counsel Khawaja Haris Ahmed, while representing the father of the accused, pleaded before the court to order extending the time frame to six months instead of two months.

When Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, a member of the bench, asked if the mental health of the prime accused had been determined, Advocate Shah Khawar, representing the victim’s family, contended that he had been tested only for drugs.

In their bail plea, the petitioners had accused the police of conducting one-sided and biased investigations against them, adding that the impugned high court order of denying them bail was in effect arbitrary, capricious and based on unsubstantiated conjectures and surmises which should be set aside.

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Moreover, the direction of the high court for expeditious trial to be concluded within eight weeks from the date of framing of charges was premature since even complete challan or a report under Section 173 of the CrPC had not been furnished in the case nor copies of all the documentary evidence referred to in the statements of witnesses recorded under Section 161 provided to the petitioners.

“In any case, direction given in the instant case is even otherwise without jurisdiction, being violative of the petitioner’s fundamental right to fair trial, especially since substantial defence of the petitioners which was available in the data contained in the mobile phones have been taken into possession by the investigation officer (IO) for forensic test.”

Thus the defence of the petitioners will be seriously prejudiced if the trial is directed to be commenced in the absence of the data.

Noor Mukadam, 27, was found murdered at a residence in Islamabad’s F-7/4 sector on July 20.

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