Zahir Jaffer pleads being 'mentally ill' as defence in Noor muder case trial

Counsel prays court to form a medical board for a check-up of accused


Saqib Bashir December 01, 2021
Zahir Jaffer is being taken to a court. SCREENGRAB

ISLAMABAD:

The main accused in the Noor Mukadam murder case, Zahir Jaffer, on Wednesday pleaded that he was "mentally ill".

The plea, through the main accused's lawyer, comes around four months after the grisly murder.

Earlier, the police had said that Zahir Jaffer, was mentally sound and in his senses when he was arrested from the crime scene in late July.

During today's proceedings, presided by Additional Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani, the prime accused's counsel Sikandar Zulqarnain submitted a petition that his client was "mentally ill".

The petition claims that the accused suffers from schizophrenia due to drug usage and was in the same mental state on the day of the murder.

It further claimed that Zahir Jaffer behaved erratically in court due to his mental state and added that when the court indicted all the accused, including Zahir Jaffer, he did not respond as he did not understand the court proceedings.

Although the court had observed the accused's mental state, it continued to record the statements of witnesses in the absence of the accused, said the petition, adding that Under Article 10A, the accused was also deprived of the right to a fair trial.

The counsel also requested the court to form a medical board and conduct a mental health check-up of the accused.

Read More: Zahir Jaffer again refuses to hire counsel

On at least two prior occasions, Zahir Jaffer was kicked out of the courtroom for unruly behaviour and hurling abuses at the presiding judge.

Noor Mukadam, the 27-year-old daughter of a former Pakistani diplomat, was 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 were are also arrested on charges of abetment and hiding evidence. According to the challan, Therapy Works employees tried to cover up the crime and destroyed the evidence.

 

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