Zahir Jaffer, the main convict in the Noor Mukadam murder case, has filed a plea in the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the Islamabad High Court’s decision to uphold his death sentence. He has also asked for his acquittal in the case and for the death sentence to be declared null and void. The plea cites issues with the trial court and high court’s evaluation of evidence, the flawed first information report, insufficient evidence provided by Noor’s father and complainant Shaukat Ali Mukadam, and doubtful execution of Noor’s post-mortem report. Jaffer also claims that his psychological disorder caused disturbances in court proceedings, and that his mental and psychological issues were not properly regarded.
On July 20, 2021, Noor Mukadam was found murdered at Jaffer’s residence in Islamabad. A first information report was registered against Jaffer on the complaint of the victim’s father, Shaukat Mukadam, a retired diplomat. In February 2022, an Islamabad sessions court sentenced Jaffer to death and awarded 10-year imprisonment to two co-accused. In March 2022, Jaffer approached the IHC challenging his death sentence, but the IHC upheld the death sentence and also converted Jaffer’s 25-year jail term into another death penalty.
The plea filed with the SC names the state and Noor’s father Shaukat as respondents, and requests the apex court to set aside the IHC’s verdict and acquit Jaffer of his charges. The petition argues that the conviction resulted from “erroneous appreciation” of the case evidence and that the high court and trial court failed to identify the “fundamental flaws” in the FIR. It also claims that Shaukat misused the criminal machinery with malafide intentions and ulterior motives after seeking professional advice.
The petition cites the acquittal of eight accused in the case as undermining the veracity and truthfulness of Noor’s father and the prosecution evidence. Jaffer’s plea also raises questions about the lack of a proper investigation to rule out his mental fitness, and the alleged prejudice he faced due to not being able to effectively defend himself or join the criminal investigation, understand and comprehend the allegations against him, or lead the defense evidence.
The case has garnered significant attention in Pakistan, with many calling for justice for Noor and her family. The Supreme Court’s decision on Jaffer’s plea is eagerly awaited by all parties involved.