Zahir Jaffer awarded death sentence in Noor murder case

Two accomplices jailed for 10 years; Zahir's parents acquitted by the sessions court in Islamabad

Hasnaat Malik February 24, 2022
Police officers escort Zahir Jaffer after court announced death sentence to him. Photo: Agencies


A sessions court in Islamabad on Thursday handed down the death penalty to Zahir Jaffer for the murder of Noor Mukadam while his employees, watchman Muhammad Iftikhar and gardener Muhammad Jan, were sentenced to 10 years in prison for abetting in the act.

However, Additional Sessions Judge Atta Rabbani acquitted his parents, Zakir Jaffer and Ismat Adamjee, as well as other suspects in the case including Therapy Works employees, from the charge of abetment.

The judge issued a short order according to which Zahir had been sentenced to death under Section 302(b) (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

However, the death sentence awarded to the convict shall be subject to confirmation by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The court also found Zahir guilty of rape and sentenced to him to 25 years of rigorous imprisonment along with a fine of Rs200,000 under Section 376 (punishment for rape) of the PPC.

"He is directed to pay Rs500,000 as compensation to the legal heir of the deceased as required under Section 544-A of the CrPC [Criminal Procedure Code],” the order read.

Read Noor Mukadam murder case: A timeline

“In case of non-payment of [the] compensation amount, it shall be realised as arrears of land revenue. In case of non-realisation, the convict shall have to undergo six months [in jail].”

Zahir has also been sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs100,000 under Section 364 (kidnapping in order to murder) and one year of rigorous imprisonment under Section 342 (wrongful confinement).

“The sentences of imprisonment shall run concurrently and the accused is granted benefit of Section 382(B) [period of detention to be considered while awarding sentence of imprisonment] of the CrPC Criminal Procedure Code].”

The judge wrote in the order that Zahir could appeal against the verdict in the Islamabad High Court within seven days.

Iftikhar and Mohammad Jan were each sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs100,000 for abetting (Section 109), 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs100,000 for confining a kidnapped person (Section 368), one month of simple imprisonment for omitting information from a public servant (Section 176) and seven years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs100,000 for concealing a plan to commit an offence punishable with death or life imprisonment (Section 118).

Their sentences will also run concurrently as they too were granted the benefit of Section 382(B) of the CrPC.

The court noted that the prosecution had failed to establish its case against the convict’s parents, Tahir Zahoor, Dileep Kumar, Wamiq Riaz, Abdul Haq, Samar Abbas, Jamil Ahmad (the cook) and Amjad Mahmood. “Therefore, they are acquitted of the charges levelled against them.”

The order further read that the medical evidence also supported the prosecution version as the cause of death was the lack of blood supply to the brain due to separation from head from the body.

It added that the prosecution evidence had made it clear that Zahir was found in the room of “occurrence” along with Noor’s body.

The judge noted that Zahir had committed the murder of in his room situated in upper portion of the house with a Swiss knife by separating her head from the body.

The court also said the evidence had further revealed that Zahir kept Noor in his room from July 18, 2021 to July 20, 2021. During this period, she attempted to save her life by making attempts to escape, but she was overpowered by Zahir and subjected to rape.

According to Punjab Forensic Science Agency’s report, seminal material was identified on a vaginal swab from the body of Noor. The DNA profile obtained from sperm fraction matched with that of Zahir.

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

The court also noted that during the trial proceedings, the state counsel made efforts to have Zahir declared a “mentally disordered” person to save him from legal punishment.

Zahir was medically examined in jail hospital and the medical report was sent to the court. As per medical report, the medical officer of the jail hospital had found the health condition of Zahir as satisfactory.

Victory for justice

Shaukat Mukadam, Noor’s father, said the court’s ruling was a victory for justice.

He added that the entire nation was praying for justice in the case and thanked the media for keeping the case alive. Mukadam, a retired diplomat, said Zahir was given an “exemplary punishment” by the judge.

On July 20, 2021, Noor was brutally beheaded and murdered in Islamabad, sparking outrage across the country. Days later, #JusticeForNoor trended on social media with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and others condemning the incident.

On July 25, the Islamabad police arrested Zahir’s parents and their household staff, Iftikhar and Jameel on the charges of hiding evidence and being complicit in the crime.

On August 15, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said that the government placed all suspects – including Zahir’s parents – linked to the murder of Noor on the no-fly list to bar them from leaving Pakistan.

On September 11, the police submitted an interim challan in the Noor murder case to the court, according to which the prime suspect, Zahir, had confessed to killing Noor after she refused to marry him.

According to reports, the DNA test also showed the victim was raped before being killed.

Zahir later meandered from his confession, claiming mental disability -- which was dismissed by the additional sessions court -- and then alleged that Noor was indulging in drugs at his house prior to her death.


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