Despite awarding death sentence to the main accused, Zahir Zakir Jaffer, Additional Sessions Judge Muhammad Atta Rabbani has raised serious questions on the police investigation in Noor Mukadam murder case.
“The procedural defect and irregularity might have been done by the Investigation Officer (IO) during the investigation to give undue favour to the accused and the police authority at the most may take action in this regard. The police authority must think over it to take positive steps for reforms in the investigation wing of the police department,” a 61-page judgment said.
Noted lawyer Salman Safdar, who has expertise in criminal law, lauded the trial court to give speedy and bold judgment in the case.
He said evidence was collected more professionally as compared with other cases of the same nature. Acquittal of the accused’s parents was a courageous decision when superior courts had already rejected the father’s bail, he added.
The trial court in its judgment noted that many technical objections were raised on part of the defence, adding that technical aspects regarding defective investigation had no value in light of the modern device and scientific evidence. “The police witnesses made some contradictory statements regarding the time of arrival of the police officials and complainant at the place of occurrence.
It is submitted that the oral statement has no value in light of documentary evidence in shape of P-13 and P-14. The CCTV footage P-13 and P-14 made clear all the contradiction pointed out by learned defence counsel. The defence side also pointed the loopholes and lacunas in the investigation.
“The court observed that the IO committed mistakes and left loopholes during investigation. The IO got drafted the recovery memos through his colleagues or subordinates without giving reason. The question arises that whether the defective investigation is enough to spoil the case of prosecution/complainant,” the judgment said.
In this regard, the judgment noted that the Supreme Court in judgment cited as 2008 SCMR 1228 held that discrepancy reflected on the working and lethargy of the IO could not cause any harm to the prosecution’s case. “In the said case, the IO did not take into possession the blood-stained clothes of the deceased, blood-stained cloth, empties from the place of occurrence. Similarly, the Hon’ble High court in judgment cited as 1998 P.Cr.L.J 114 held that procedural defect or irregularity or even illegality in course of investigation shall not demolish the case of – prosecution.”
The court noted that the discrepancies and contradiction as pointed out by defence side were not material and such contradiction and discrepancies were not fatal to case of complainant.
However, the judgment said that the prosecution had produced its sufficient evidence in shape of modern scientific and forensic evidence to establish its case that Noor was killed by accused Zahir Zakir Jaffer inside his room.
“The dead body was recovered from the room of accused Zahir Zakir. Even the accused (the members of Therapy Team) had seen the dead body lying in the said room. The defence side has failed to rebut the evidence of prosecution. “The defence also failed to establish that the dead body was not recovered from the said room of accused Zahir Zakir or the deceased Mst Noor Mukadam was done to death at somewhere else. According to the reports of PFSA Ex P-BM relating to Forensic toxicology, drugs/poison were not detected in the liver and stomach contents of deceased sent to the laboratory and as per PFSA report Ex P-BL the DNA profile of the accused is also matched and accused Zahir Zakir cannot be excluded being contributor to DNA mixture profile.
“As per statements of PW-4 and PW-7 the sealed parcels were kept in safe custody and transmitted to concern authority/laboratory. The medical evidence also supports the prosecution version as the cause of death is a lack of blood supply to the brain due to separation from the head from the body. The defence evidence, as well as point raised by defence side, has no weightage in front of the heavy flow of the prosecution evidence,” the judgment said.