‘Noor Muqqadam may have been killed for honour’

Counsel for main accused Zahir Jaffer says police failed to grill victim’s only brother

Saqib Bashir February 16, 2022
Noor Mukadam. Photo courtesy: Change.org


The counsel for Zahir Jaffer, the main accused in the Noor Muqqadam murder case, has said that it was possible that she (Noor) may have been killed for honour as she had a “living relationship” with his client.

While giving final arguments, Sikandar Zulqarnain Saleem, the counsel for the main accused, raised several questions on the police probe stating that the police did not quiz the only brother of the victim during the whole investigation of the case.

“This is a matter of living relationship (between Noor Muqqadam and Zahir Jaffer), frayed emotions could overwhelm anyone and it could be a matter of honour,” the lawyer of the accused said in an indirect reference to the victim’s brother, who, he said, was not questioned by the police during the whole investigation.

“Why the police did not interrogate the only brother of the victim," lawyer Sikandar Zulqarnain questioned, adding that it was possible that he did not want to support the story pitched by the investigation officer (IO).

Also read: Zahir accuses Noor's family of framing him for murder

When Additional Sessions Judge Atta Rabbani took up the case for hearing, the main accused Zahir Jaffer and other accused were produced in the court.

The lawyer argued that “the plaintiff (Shaukat Muqqadam) said in his statement that when he reached home on July 19, he found Noor missing while the prosecution told the court that Noor Muqqaddam jumped off the floor on July 18 in an attempt to escape. “How is it possible that when a child does not return home for the whole day and the parents are not worried and inform the police,” he said.

Zulqarnain argued that according to the statement of the IO, some people were present on the upper floor of the house when he reached the crime scene but he did not say during the entire investigation who those "some people were?”

The defence lawyer argued that “the statement said that the body of the victim was lying and four or five people were holding Zahir before he was arrested. “Why these people were not taken into custody for interrogation?” he asked, arguing that it might have been done to satisfy someone's ego.

During his arguments, the accused’s lawyer said that Noor Muqqadam jumped out and Zahir locked her in the room from outside. Did anyone see any weapon in Zahir's hand? Zahir Jaffer may have locked her to save her from someone, he said.

Also read: Zahir Jaffer ‘denies’ killing Noor

The lawyer said that “the plaintiff (Shaukat Muqqadam) is an educated man. If the body of a girl was lying in front of him, he would have had written what he saw, but in the FIR it is mentioned that the head was severed from the body but there is no mention of blood.”

The defence lawyer argued that "how can it be possible that someone cuts the throat of a person and there is no blood on his hand and no such has been mentioned in the report.

The main accused's lawyer alleged that the IO has fabricated a story against Zahir Jaffer.

The post-mortem of the victim was carried out at 9am the next day because they (police) had been fabricating a story the whole night. “If they had the time, they would probably have brought a piece of evidence to show how the murder took place,” he said, adding that when the girl did not return home for one day, why the parents did not inform the police.

The lawyer took the stance that “they (parents) should also be charged with negligence. He accused the forensic team of poor investigation and said that the forensic team got everything from the scene but did not find the DVR. They collected things of their own choice. He said that the DVR was neither a needle nor was it wearing a “Sulemani topi”.

Also read: Not a hint of remorse: Osman Khalid Butt to Zahir Jaffer

He further said that the police took the body to the emergency room of Polyclinic while it should have been taken to the morgue first under the law.

“What did the police do on the night between July 20 and 21? The autopsy was performed on July 21 at 9:30am. The reason for such a delay was that it was being considered who should be implicated in the case,” the lawyer argued.

“Then the post-mortem was done more than once by different people. Had the body been handed over to an untrained person that three to four experts had to again conduct the post-mortem?”

The accused's lawyer, citing negligence on the part of plaintiff Shaukat Muqqadam, said, "When the plaintiff reached the police station, he did not immediately lodge an FIR. The negligence clause also applies to him, he said

After completion of the final arguments of the main accused's lawyer, the court directed the Therapy Works lawyer to give arguments on Monday.


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