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SC declines to alter HC orders
Dismisses plea by DIG, DSP in J&K sex racket
S.S. Negi
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, June 5
Saying a firm no, the Supreme Court today declined to entertain a plea for altering four interim orders of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court imposing stringent conditions for the CBI and lower courts for investigation and judicial proceedings in the sex scandal case allegedly involving several state politicians, bureaucrats, police and para-military officers.

The alteration in the High Court orders was sought on the ground that it not only was “beyond its jurisdiction” but violated the guidelines and standards laid down by the apex court regarding investigations for the CBI in criminal cases.

A Bench comprising Mr Justice Arijit Pasayat and Mr Justice C K Thakker said though in normal circumstances the high courts were not expected to pass such orders but considering the “peculiar nature of this case, we are not inclined to apply those standard in the present case.”

The apex court also declined to entertain the anticipatory bail plea of a BSF DIG, presently posted in Assam, allegedly involved in the sex scandal and directed him to join the investigation.

The High Court, which had ordered the CBI probe into the scandal that had shaken the entire administration of Jammu and Kashmir, had passed the four interim orders between May 14 and 24 in the course of its monitoring of the progress of investigation.

The High Court orders were challenged by Jammu and Kashmir DSP Mohammed Ashraf Mir, named as an accused in the sex scandal, in which teenaged girls were allegedly forced to entertain politicians, civil and police officers. Names of some ministers in the Mufti Syed Government had also surfaced in the statements of some girls.

Mir in his petition alleged that the sex racket was a new ploy of Pakistan’s ISI to destabilise the democratically elected government in the state as “the state intelligence wing had come to know in 2004 that its agents in Srinagar had conspired to instigate people on sex issues.”

Mir’s counsel, senior advocate Mahabir Singh had termed the High Court as unheard of as it could not issue a particular kind of direction pertaining to recording of statement of accused in a criminal case and on conduct of lower court proceedings in a particular manner. But the court was not impressed with the contention of the petitioner.

The High Court in its May 15 order had sought a regular report from the CBI on progress of the investigation and ordered that any bail application or any other application relating to the case by any person filed before the lower court “shall not be disposed of unless the facts of it are brought to its (high court) notice.”

The High Court in its next order of May 16 had directed that the statements of two girls who had come forward reveal the sex racket, be recorded in the presence of District and Sessions Judge, Anantnag. In its subsequent directions of May 19 it ordered identification parade of accused persons in presence of the girls and a magistrate and said no bail be granted to arrested persons without its permission. In the last order of May 24 the identification parade was asked to be completed by May 29.

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