February 24th, 2022
By Ahmed Saeed
An additional district and sessions Judge Islamabad Atta Rabbani handed death to Zahir Jaffer for murdering 27-year-old Noor Muqaddam.
The court also found Zahir’s two household staff Iftikhar and Muhammad Jan, who was charged for abetting the crime, guilty and sentenced them to 10 years’ imprisonment.
The court acquitted the other accused in the case, including the parents of Zahir Jaffer and staffers of a therapy setup who were despatched to the scene of the crime by Zahir’s to deal with the emergency that culminated in Noor’s death.
The court also convicted prime accused Zahir Jaffer of 25 years imprisonment under section 376 (Rape) of the Pakistan Penal Code, 10 years jail term under section 364 (Kidnapping), and one-year imprisonment under section 342 (wrongful confinement).
The court also directed Zahir Jaffer to pay Rs 500,000 as compensation to the legal heirs of the deceased Noor Muqaddam. In addition to that, the court also fined Zahir Jaffer for an accumulative amount of Rs 300,000.
The death sentence, however, will be subject to confirmation by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
Noor Muqaddam was found beheaded at the house of Zahir Jaffer’s house in Islamabad’s F-7 sector on the eve of July 20th, 2020. Zahir Jaffer was also arrested from the spot and visible bloodstains could be seen on his clothes.
The incident occurred a day before the festive occasion of Eid-Ul Adha. The details of the murder were bone-chilling and sent shock waves across the country. Although the incident was widely condemned and people demanded no leniency for the accused.
However, there were apprehensions that the accused might evade the punishment using their influence and money citing the example of the Shahzaib murder case of 2012.
Reacting to this skepticism, the Prime Minister took notice of the incident and asked the authorities to carry out an impartial investigation on scientific grounds to ensure the conviction of the accused.
The trial was held by an additional district and sessions Judge Islamabad and the IHC initially gave it two months to conclude the trial. However, the deadline was later extended.
The court indicted Zahir Jaffer and other accused on October 14 and all the accused pleaded not guilty. During the trial, the police submitted a forensic report of DNA samples of both the accused and the deceased, which confirmed that Noor was reportedly raped before being murdered.
The defense lawyers also submitted an application in the trial court to medically examine the mental condition of the prime accused Zahir Jaffer and pleaded that he had a history of mental illness. However, the court rejected the appeal and continued the trial.