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Women’s rights activists place candles and flowers beside posters with the pictures of Noor Mukadam, who was recently brutally beheaded by her childhood friend, during a candle light vigil to pay tribute to Noor and other domestic violence victims, in Islamabad, on July 25, 2021. Image Credit: AP

Pakistan: A sessions court of Islamabad on Thursday turned down bail application filed by the parents of Zahir Jaffer — principal accused in Noor Mukadam’s murder —and held the suspects “not only caused abetment but also made utmost efforts to wipe off evidence”.

The decision was announced by Additional Sessions Judge Muhammad Sohail, who had earlier reserved the verdict on Wednesday.

The bail petition was filed by Zakir Jaffer and Asmat Adamjee, parents of Zahir Jaffer through their counsel Rizwan Abbasi Advocate.

“There is reasonable ground to believe that petitioners/accused have committed non-bailable offences.

As such, I am not inclined to grant bail to the petitioners/accused and consequently, the instant post-arrest bail application is hereby dismissed,” the detailed court judgment said.

While referring to the failed attempt of Noor Mukadam to escape the scene of crime, the judge observed in the five-page written judgment that the parents of the principal accused were in constant contact with their son and had “prompt information” of the incident.

Despite knowing their son was getting violent towards Noor Mukadam and could kill her, they didn’t inform police rather sent personnel from the rehabilitation centre Therapyworks Zahir’s mother works for to handle the situation, the judgment said.

“As such, they not only caused abetment but also made utmost efforts to wipe off the evidence of the alleged murder committed by their son,” the judge observed in his verdict.

The judgment also referred to the recovered call data record, which when examined had sufficient evidence and connected the accused’s parents with the commission of the alleged offences.

Only a “tentative assessment” of the available material was made at the time of deciding the bail petition and it did not warrant a “thrashing of case in detail,” however the judgment said providing a window to the petitioners to apply for bail at a later stage of the case.

A day earlier, the public prosecutor had argued against the bail petition.

“They (the petitioners/accused) tried to save their child on the basis of dishonesty. The bail application should be rejected at this stage,” the prosecutor had said.

Counsel for Shaukat Mukadam, father of Noor Mukadam Shah Khawar, told the court that CCTV footage tied up the parents with the case, adding that the suspect had called his father three times in the evening of July 20 and his mother at 3pm as well.

“This was the time when Noor Mukadam was with Zahir Jaffer. The police station is half a kilometre away but the watchman was not asked to go there.

The defence counsel for Zahir Jaffer’s parents, Rizwan Abbasi Advocate held before the court his clients condemned the killing since day one and stood with the victim.

They had disassociated themselves with their son’s act and were deeply shocked at the murder of Noor Mukadam who was a family friend. They have even declared not to pursue the case or be party in it to give any legal support to the accused, said the counsel for Zahir’s parents.