The lawyer of Zahir Jaffar, the principle accused in the Noor Mukadam murder case, on Wednesday filed an application in the sessions court requesting that a medical board be constituted to determine the mental health of their client.
The application says that Zahir, “is suffering from severe mental ailment which is necessary to be determined through an authorised medical board according to the commands of legislature and local and international law”.
It went on to contend that Zahir did not respond to the charges against him, “as he was unable to understand the proceedings of [the] trial court, which is vivid from the charge sheet…”
The application pointed out that the court, “observed the demeanour, conduct and state of mind of [Zahir] during his appearance before the court…”
News of the court proceedings generated an angry reaction from users of social media. One user wrote that the accused should not be able to get away on medical grounds.
Another user wrote that if Zahir is released on grounds of being medically unfit, then no woman will be safe in this country.
One netizen tweeted that everyone who goes to a therapist is diagnosed with some kind of mental illness but that is no excuse for committing crimes.
Earlier, the police officer who was supervising the investigation of the case said that Zahir was completely “sound and in his senses” when arrested from the murder scene.
Zahir is accused of brutally murdering Noor Mukadam, 27, at a residence in Islamabad’s Sector F-7. Zahir’s parents and house staff were also arrested over allegations of “hiding evidence and being complicit in the crime”.