2012 BOPEE Scam | Court rejects Crime Branch plea for examination of material witnesses

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Observing that the right to produce evidence has been closed after granting ample opportunities to the prosecution, in Board of Professional Entrance Examination scam 2012, the court of Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) has rejected plea of Crime Branch (CB) for examination of material witnesses.

After hearing prosecution and defence counsel, the bench comprising Principal members, Khem Raj Sharma, Khair-ul-Nisa and Asima Hassan dismissed the application, describing it as “misconceived.”

Special Anti-Corruption Court Srinagar had sentenced former Chairman, Mushtaq Ahmad Peer to 16 years in prison and fined Rs one crore for his involvement in the scam. While Sajad Ahmad Bhat, a broker between Peer and students who purchased the question papers, was sentenced to 12 years in jail and fined Rs 50 lakh by the court.

Of the total 54 accused persons in the case, 46 have been convicted and eight acquitted. Among the convicts were students and their parents who were sentenced to one year and six years jail respectively. A juvenile is, however, facing trial before JJB.

The JJB court observed that numerous opportunities were granted to prosecution to lead the evidence but the prosecution has failed to do the same and finally on 17 May 2017, the prosecution evidence were closed by Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar, who was then acting as JJB.

“On the same day, the prosecution moved an application seeking direction to call some of material witnesses from the array of prosecution witnesses and same was allowed by the CJM to the extent that seven material witnesses will be called for recording their evidence. After allowing the application the prosecution again failed to lead the evidence in the case” the court said.

“In spite of providing ample time and opportunities, the prosecution failed to lead the evidence and the application in hand was filed with a sheer motive to protract the litigation and to fill the lacunas in the case. Hence the application is dismissed as misconceived,” the court said.