Verdict reserved on appeal over Zahir`s sentence in Noor case – 22 Dec 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday reserved verdict on a plea challenging the death sentence of Zahir Jaffer in Noor Mukadam murder case.

The two-member division bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Sardar ljaz Ishaq Khan reserved the verdict after the lawyers completed their arguments.

Jaffer`s lawyer, Usman Khosa, in his argument on the last day of hearing on Wednesday, said one of the reasons for giving the death sentence to his client could be to set an example that there was a lesson for others to not take such a step.

He added that such a punishment was awarded to habitual criminals to create deterrence.

He said there was pressure on Pakistan at an international level to abolish the death penalty, adding that his client was an American citizen and a resident of New Jersey, where there was no concept of capital punishment. He urged the court to take this point into consideration.

Chief Justice Aamer Farooq remarked that abolishing the death penalty was a matter of legislation and only legislators could view this subject, however, he added that Pakistan was an independent country and it had its own law.

The lawyer of the plaintiff, Shaukat Mukadam, said Jameel, Jaffer`s cook, worked during the day and had no role in the crime.

While the court inquired whether any drugs were recovered from the crime scene, Mr Mukadam`s lawyer Babar Hayat said no drug was recovered and the relevant report had been attached with the record.

The court also inquired about Noor`s handbag, which was not part of the record but it was visible in the CCTV footage.

Mr Hayat said only the prosecution could talk about the bag. After the two sides concluded their arguments, the bench reserved its judgement.

The court asked the lawyers to submit written arguments, if they wanted, within seven days.

The trial court in Islamabad had awarded death penalty to Jaffer in February 2022 for killing Noor Mukadam. Her body was found in Jaffer`s residence in F-7 on July 20, 2021.

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