Zahir Jaffer Declared Mentally, Physically Fit Despite Court Stunts

Zahir Jaffer Declared Mentally, Physically Fit Despite Court Stunts
Doctors from Rawalpindi Central Jail Adiala have declared prime accused in the Noor Mukadam murder case, Zahir Jaffer, medically and psychologically 'completely fit’ despite his recent arrival to court on a stretcher and his lawyers’ apparent attempts to prove he is mentally unstable.

Multiple medical examinations were conducted, each of which showed that the primary accused was healthy, Additional Sessions Judge Atta Rabbani was informed in a report from Adiala Jail doctors

"The accused was also examined by a psychiatrist who declared that he is [mentally] fit," the report said.

Throughout his trial, which began in October, Zahir Jaffer has engaged in various theatrics, often disturbing and delaying court proceedings, to the extent that the court has stated that he is 'creating a drama.'

Four days ago, Jaffer was escorted by police into the courtroom handcuffed and sitting listlessly in a chair.  His seemingly degenerating condition prompted his counsel, Junior lawyer Usman Riaz Gul, to request an additional medical check-up for the accused.

"The mental condition of the accused has worsened," Gul had observed of his client.

The court had previously rejected Jaffer's request for a mental health assessment from a pertinent medical board stating in a judgement that the defense was attempting to mitigate the accused's culpability.

"Facts and attending circumstances reveal that the accused is not suffering from mental illness [and] such afterthought plea has been raised just to get rid of criminal liability," the judgement read

In November, Jaffer was forcibly removed from the court after yelling at and insulting the presiding judge in a stream of expletives. Police had to carry a resistant Jaffer out of the courtroom by his arms and legs.

"The accused's condition is not good," Jaffer's lawyer offered at Thursday hearing, requesting that the defendant be again excused from the courtroom. The presiding judge continued with the hearing, which included a cross-examination from the defendant's counsel of an investigating officer (IO) in the case.