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J&K Sex Scandal Case
HC asks CBI to submit report on VIPs
Kumar Rakesh
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, October 8
The sex scandal case, which had sent several MLAs, civil and police officers behind bars, has come to haunt the establishment as a division bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court today asked the CBI to submit before a local court a report regarding evidence on record against several high-profile persons on whom it did not fix any criminal liability.

The bench said the investigating agency had not interrogated some persons "visibly" involved in the racket. The ruling came on a PIL plea filed by the Kashmir High Court Bar Association which alleged the CBI had let off some leading politicians and officers lightly in its probe.

The court has given four-week time to the CBI to lay its report before the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Srinagar.

If the CJM finds the evidence strong enough, it could spell trouble for a few of legislators and officers, including transport minister Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen, former ministers Ghulam Hassan Khan of the PDP and Yogesh Sawhney of the Congress, besides police officers like Rajinder Tikoo, Niaz Mehmood, Shiekh Mehmood, Ashkoor Wani and Mansoor Ahmad.

The bench of Justices Hakeem Imtiyaz Hussain and Bashir Ahmad Kirmani observed that Sabeena, a key accused, and another woman, one Shazia, alias Azra, were not questioned thoroughly. It said the questioning of Sabeena ended abruptly after being recorded at a long stretch. DSP Mohammad Yousuf Mir, who allegedly was an important part of the probe for his knowledge of the racket, was also not interrogated properly.

The bench asked the CBI to investigate two cases registered at police stations Magam and Maharaj Gunj. It also wondered why the CBI had not referred to the probe done by the state police before the case was transferred to it.

The accused in the racket have been largely divided into two categories, those whose names surfaced in the probe, but have nocriminal liability and those who have. Official sources said the list of the men in first category was quite long as women and victim girl had named over 50 of them.

The court also asked the state government to take appropriate action within two weeks against the hotels and guesthouses used for sexual exploitation of the girls.

The racket which surfaced last year after a CD showing lurid details of some accused with girls, one of them a minor, appeared locally setting off a wave of protest in the local populace. A total of 18 accused, including former ministers Ghulam Ahmad Mir and Raman Matto, senior IAS officer Iqbal Khanday, DIG, BSF, K. C. Padhi, and the alleged kingpin Sabeena, are facing trial in a Chandigarh court. Most of the accused have been freed on bailed.

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PDP suspends MLA

Srinagar, October 8
The People’s Democratic Party today suspended its MLA from Shopian, Ghulam Hassan Khan after his name figured in the list of accused in the sex scandal case.

“We have suspended Khan from the party till the investigations into the case are completed,” PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said here.

Khan was among more than a dozen politicians, police officers and bureaucrats named as accused by the division bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court today. — PTI

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