SC adjourns hearing of bail plea of Jaffer’s parents

Obaid Abrar KhanStaff Reporter

11th Oct, 2021. 08:10 pm

Supreme Court to hear Covid-19 suo motu case on May 5

ISLAMABAD. The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the hearing of the bail plea filed by the parents of Zahir Jaffer, main accused in Noor Mukadam murder case, till October 18.

During the hearing, the petitioners’ lawyer Khawaja Haris argued before a three-judge bench, presided over by Justice Umar Atta Bandial, that in the Noor murder case, the main accused is Zahir Jaffer whereas his parents were in Karachi when murder took place.

Justice Umar Atta Bandial remarked that they were just trying to understand the case.

Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed remarked that Noor murder was a very sad incident and that the judges have sympathies with her family. “We are getting information from you to understand the facts of the case,” he added.

When the court resumed hearing after a short break, Justice Bandial told the petitioner’s counsel that he had received news of some relative’s death and would have to reach Lahore to attend the funeral. Later, the court adjourned till October 18.

Noor was brutally murdered on July 20 allegedly by her friend Zahir Jaffer at his residence in Islamabad.

The police had later also implicated Zahir’s parents on the basis of the statement of an employee of the Therapy Works – a psychotherapy organization – that he had called Zahir’s father, Zakir Jaffer, to inform him about his son’s abusing behavior towards Noor but he had done nothing.

Zakir Jaffer and his wife Asmat Zakir, who were remanded in judicial custody by a magistrate on July 27, later moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for a post arrest bail. However, a single-judge bench of the IHC on September 29 rejected their bail petition.

Zahir’s parents later moved a bail petition in the Supreme Court, contending that the IHC judge acted arbitrarily in rejecting the bail of the petitioner by presuming that the petitioner was allegedly aware of his son’s purported intention to commit murder of the victim.

“In relying on the alleged statement of the watchman to impute knowledge to the petitioner regarding the victim being held in confinement, the [IHC] has acted in derogation of the principle laid down in numerous judgments of the superior courts that statement made by a co-accused is not admissible in evidence, and cannot per se constitute a factor for denial of bail,” said their bail application.

It said that no such evidence against the accused exists on the record, and even the IHC order does not refer to or relied upon any such statement of any witness, or even a co-accused.

The bail plea said the allegation made by the prosecution that the Therapy Works personnel arrived at the place of incident to clear the scene of the crime and remove the evidence is not supported by any material or evidence placed on the record.

“Rather, during the course of investigation, not a single piece or category of evidence, whether it be alleged weapon of offence used against the victim, or the alleged firearm used against one of the personnel of the Therapy Works, or the dismembered body of the victim, or the CCTV cameras with all the recordings, was found missing from the spot…

“Insofar as the conduct of the petitioner is concerned, he along with his wife had themselves joined the investigation, and had fully cooperated with the police, providing each and every information during the investigation even prior to their arrest,” it added.

It said Zakir and Asmat were in Karachi when the incident happened. However, upon coming to know about Noor’s murder, both of them made immediate arrangements and reached Islamabad.

“Be that as it may, during their stay in Islamabad, the petitioner and his wife came to apprehend that the police was intending or trying to implicate them as [accomplices] to the gruesome murder of Noor Muaqaddam, and, consequently, they were constrained to seek, and obtained, pre-arrest bail from the court of the Learned Additional Sessions Judge on 24.07.2021.

“However, since the petitioner and his wife were not in a position to arrange a local surety from Islamabad, they applied for and were allowed to deposit the surety amount in cash. But then the banks were closed, it being a Saturday, and as such the surety amount could not be deposited on the said date.

“Nevertheless, the petitioner and his wife went to the police station, taking along with them a certified copy of the interim pre-arrest bail order, and a certificate from their learned counsel, explaining the reason why surety bonds could not be submitted on that day.

“But despite being apprised of the afore-noted facts, the investigation officer/SHO [of] Kohsar [police station], maneuvered to place the petitioner and his wife under arrest on the pretext that the first informant had named them (as accused) in a supplementary statement recorded on that very day.”

The petition said Zakir and his wife were later presented before the Islamabad-West Judicial Magistrate Section-30 on the very next day, and the magistrate, vide order dated July 25, remanded them in police custody for two days.

However, on the request of the Kohsar Police Station SHO both Zakir and his wife were remanded in judicial custody on July 27 and they have been incarcerated at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail since.

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