Noor Mukadam case: Verdict reserved on formation of medical board for Zahir Jaffer

05:45 PM | 5 Jan, 2022
Noor Mukadam case: Verdict reserved on formation of medical board for Zahir Jaffer

ISLAMABAD – A sessions court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on an application filed by the legal team of Zahir Jaffer — the primary accused in the Noor Mukadam murder case — seeking the constitution of a medical board to determine his mental health.

Noor Mukadam (27) was found murdered at a residence in the capital's upscale Sector F-7/4 on July 20, 2021. A first information report was registered the same day against Zahir — who was arrested from the site of the murder — under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) on the complaint of the victim's father, Shaukat Ali Mukadam.

A trial court on October 14 had indicted Zahir along with 11 others — his parents, their three household staff including Iftikhar (watchman), Jan Muhammad (gardener) and Jameel (cook), Therapyworks CEO Tahir Zahoor and employees Amjad, Dilip Kumar, Abdul Haq, Wamiq and Samar Abbas — in the case. The murder trial formally began on Oct 20.

As the court resumed hearing the Noor Mukadam murder case witnesses were cross-examined and CCTV footage of the events leading to the murder was played in the courtroom.

On December 8, counsel for Tahir Zahoor — the owner of a counselling and psychotherapy service, Therapy Works, and an accused in the murder case — had requested the court to hold an in-camera hearing for the CCTV footage.

The CCTV footage of the incident was leaked in November, following which the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority had prohibited all satellite television channels from airing it.

The DVD of CCTV footage was de-sealed in the court today. Prior to the video being played in the court, media personnel and lawyers not related to the case were asked to leave the courtroom. Once the footage had been played, the courtroom was reopened for observers.

Meanwhile, computer operator Mudassir was cross-examined today by Zahir's counsel, who asked him questions regarding the CCTV footage's length and the memory capacity of the DVR on which the footage was recorded.

Public prosecutor Hassan Abbas recalled that Zahir, during one of the hearings, had asked why Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) was imposed on him.

He further said that Zahir used to counsel students at a local school, adding that "all these things are on record" as he opposed the accused's application for the formation of a medical board.

Zahir's counsel, Sikandar Zulqarnain , also presented his arguments. He said the request for a medical board was submitted only after witnessing his client's behaviour during the course of the trial.