Regular trial in Noor murder case begins today

Court adjourns hearing on post-arrest bail plea of Zahir Jaffer’s parents


Saqib Bashir September 23, 2021
Zahir Jaffer being taken into police custody. PHOTO: Screengrab

ISLAMABAD:

The regular trial in the Noor Muqaddam murder case will begin in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani on Thursday (today).

The six accused, including the prime suspect Zahir Jaffer, will be produced before the court from Adiala Jail, where they are on judicial remand.

The court has also summoned the six accused of Therapy Works, who are on bail.

Copies of the challan will be given to the accused before their indictment at the next date of hearing.

Muqqadam, the 27-year-old daughter of a former Pakistani diplomat, was grisly murdered in Islamabad’s F-7/4 neighbourhood on July 20. Zahir Jaffer was arrested at the crime scene on the same day. The incident had also sparked public outrage and grabbed media attention.

Zahir Jaffer’s parents and their servants are also under arrest on charges of abetment and hiding evidence.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday sought arguments from plaintiff Shaukat Muqaddam’s lawyer Shah Khawar on a bail plea of Zakir Jaffer and Ismat Adamgee, the parents of Zahir Jaffer.

Defence counsel Khawaja Harris has already concluded arguments in the case.

On Wednesday, when IHC judge Aamir Farooq took up the post-arrest bail plea of the co-accused in the Noor murder case, an associate counsel sought to postpone the hearing for a while as Shah Khawar was pre-occupied in the Supreme Court.

Read Defence contests statement of accused in Noor murder case

The judge expressed anger at this and said, “You know you are standing in front of the high court and what you are saying?

Later, the court ordered the public prosecutor to give arguments, who said the bail application of the co-accused should be heard by a division bench instead of a single bench.

Justice Aamer Farooq, hearing the case, observed that the case challan was submitted to the additional sessions court, then how the matter could be sent to the division bench.

The court inquired under which law the bail would send to the division bench. The state counsel argued that the court of Additional Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani was a special court and therefore the appeal should be heard by a division bench. Justice Amir Farooq remarked that if a notification has been issued to declare Ata Rabbani’s court a special court, and if so, it should be presented in the court.

When the state counsel failed to produce such a notification, Justice Amir Farooq reprimanded him and remarked that the advocate general should give arguments in the case.

Later, the court directed counsel Shah Khawar to give arguments and adjourned the hearing till today.

The IHC heard a case challenging the bail plea of Therapy Works employees. The accused lawyer sought time to argue about the matter. The court granted time to the lawyer and adjourned the hearing.

An additional sessions judge in Islamabad has granted bail to six accused, including five employees of Therapy Works against bonds of 0.5 million. The plaintiff has approached the IHC to cancel the bail of the accused.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2021.

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