Report maintains that primary accused in murder of Noor Mukadam has been found mentally and physically stable after multiple tests and procedures
Doctors at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on Thursday submitted a report in court declaring Zahir Jaffer, the primary accused in the murder of Noor Mukadam, is mentally and physically fit to stand trial.
“The accused was also examined by a psychiatrist who declared that he is [mentally] fit,” read the report that was submitted to Additional Sessions Judge Atta Rabbani. Zahir appeared in court on a stretcher, claiming to be unwell; earlier, he had appeared before the court in a wheelchair on the pretense of being “mentally ill.”
According to the medical report, Zahir has been examined multiple times and been found fully stable, both mentally and physically. It was submitted after Zahir’s counsel had pleaded with the court to get him medically examined, claiming that his health had “worsened” during his ongoing trial.
During Thursday’s proceedings, the counsel for Zahir’s domestic staff urged the court to allow Zahir to return to temporary lockup, as his condition was “not good.” To this, Judge Rabbani said that other lawyers had sought Zahir’s presence in court for this hearing.
Earlier this month, the court had rejected an application filed by Zahir’s counsel to form a special medical board to determine the state of their client’s mental health. In a written order, Judge Rabbani had noted that the plea appeared to have been raised “just to get rid of criminal liability.”
According to the ruling, the plea was filed when the trial was nearing its end and available “facts” suggested that the accused was not suffering from any mental illness.
The court adjourned the hearing till January 24.
Noor, 27, was found murdered at Zahir’s residence in Islamabad on July 20. A first information report was registered the same day against Zahir—who was arrested covered in blood from the scene of the crime—on the complaint of the victim’s father, Shaukat Ali Mukadam.
Following the registration of the FIR, Zahir’s parents and household staff were also arrested for allegedly “hiding evidence and being complicit in the crime.”
Following investigations, police said Zahir had confessed to killing Noor and his DNA test and fingerprints also suggested his involvement in the murder. However, the accused has acted erratically in court, switching between recanting his confession and demanding he be ensured justice, with legal experts suggesting it might be part of an effort to secure concessions by being declared mentally unfit.