Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) not only upheld Zahir Jaffer’s death sentence in the Noor Mukadam murder case, but also changed his 25-year prison sentence to a second death sentence.
The decision was announced today by a two-member division bench made up of IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Sardar Ijaz Ishaq Khan. In its ruling today, the IHC dismissed both Zahir’s appeal and those of his household employees Mohammad Iftikhar and Mohammad Jan, who were co-accused in the case and had appealed the trial court’s decision.
On July 20 of last year, Noor, 27, was discovered dead at Jaffar’s home in the affluent Sector F-7/4 of the capital. On the complaint of the victim’s father, retired diplomat Shaukat Mukadam, a first information report (FIR) was filed the same day under Section 302 (premeditated murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) against Zahir Jaffer, the main suspect who was apprehended from the scene of the murder. A sessions court in Islamabad sentenced Zahir to death on February 24, 2022, and gave his co-accused Mohammad Iftikhar and Jan Mohammad ten years in prison. Zahir’s parents, Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamji, as well as employees of TherapyWorks, had been charged in October 2021 by an Islamabad district and sessions court but were later exonerated.
Following the verdict, Zahir had approached the IHC in March 2022 challenging his death sentence.
After a first information report was registered in the case and Zahir was arrested, his parents and household staff were also taken into custody by police on July 24 over allegations of “hiding evidence and being complicit in the crime”. They were made a part of the investigation based on Noor’s father’s statement.
In his complaint, Shaukat had stated that he had gone to Rawalpindi on July 19 to buy a goat for Eidul Azha, while his wife had gone out to pick up clothes from her tailor. When he had returned home in the evening, the couple found their daughter Noor absent from their house in Islamabad.
They had found her cellphone number switched off and started a search for her. Sometime later, Noor had called her parents to inform them that she was travelling to Lahore with some friends and would return in a day or two, according to the FIR.
The complainant said he had later received a call from Zahir, whose family were their acquaintances. Zahir had informed Shaukat that Noor was not with him, the FIR said.
At around 10pm on July 20, the victim’s father had received a call from Kohsar police station, informing him that Noor had been murdered.
Police had subsequently taken the complainant to Zahir’s house in Sector F-7/4 where he discovered that his “daughter has been brutally murdered with a sharp-edged weapon and beheaded”, according to the FIR.
Shaukat, who identified his daughter’s body, has sought the maximum punishment under the law against Zahir for allegedly murdering his daughter.
Police later said that Zahir had confessed to killing Noor while his DNA test and fingerprints also showed his involvement in the murder.
Six officials of Therapy Works, whose employees had visited the site of the murder before police, were also nominated in the case and were indicted with six others, including Zahir Jaffer’s parents, in October.