The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday rejected the contentions of Zahir Jaffer's, prime accused in Noor Mukadam murder case, parents' counsel against the Islamabad High Court (IHC)'s deadline to conclude the trial within eight weeks.
In a written order, authored by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, on the petitioners' bail pleas, the court observed that the "Learned counsel for the petitioner has urged that the time period of eight weeks specified in the paragraph 14 of the impugned judgment dated 23.09.2021 "to conclude the trial expeditiously preferably within eight weeks from the framing of charge" deprives the petitioner of a fair opportunity to lead his defence. We do not agree with that submission which is conjectural and without reference to fact.”
A division bench of the apex court led by Justice Bandial granted bail to Zahir Jaffer's mother, Asmat Zakir Jaffer, four days ago.
The written order further stated that the petitioners (parents) have the right to present their defence before the trial court and in this respect the trial court shall consider and decide their pleas in accordance with law as envisaged in Article 10A of the Constitution.
"Be that as it may, without going into the merits of the case, we consider that the petitioner being a woman may be granted bail under the first proviso to section 497(1), Cr.P.C in absence of any circumstances that may justify declining this relief to her. The prosecution has not been able to point out any such circumstance," the order stated
The SC order held that "without interfering with the directions given by the Islamabad High Court in the judgment dated 29.09.2021 and in the light of the observations made by us above, we convert this petition (Crl.P. No.1110 of 2021) into appeal and grant bail to the petitioner Asmat Zakir Jaffer subject to her name being retained on the ECL and her furnishing bail bonds in the sum of Rupees One Million with one surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of the learned Trial Court concerned."
"Needless to say that this concession of bail may be withdrawn if the petitioner misuses it in any manner, including causing a delay in the expeditious conclusion of the trial or influencing the prosecution witnesses,” the order added.
Indictment plea disposed
In a separate hearing, the IHC disposed of the accused's parents' plea challenging the trial court's order to indict 12 accused in the case, after the petitioners' counsel withdrew it.
The plea stated that the court "abused its authority".
Today, Zakir Jaffer’s counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi withdrew the petition upon which Justice Amir Farooq disposed of the plea.
On October 22, it was reported that Asmat and Zakir along with Therapy Works CEO Tahir Zahoor moved the IHC against the non-provision of the complete case record to the defence team.
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