|Early Times Report |
SRINAGAR, Aug 8: The J&K High Court on Wednesday dismissed application filed by former chairman of BOPEE, Mustaq Ahmed Peer, who was convicted by the Special Judge Anticorruption in CET scam-2012, seeking suspension of his sentence.
While rejecting Peer's plea, Justice MK Hanjura observed that speedy trial is a right of the applicant/appellant and it is also in the interest of justice. "The court has to ensure speedy trial which holds true in an appeal also. Therefore, the Registrar (Judicial) of this wing of the High Court shall solicit directions from Chief Justice for listing of the matter before the appropriate Bench so that the appeal is heard and determined expeditiously."
"It also needs to be stated that the applicant/appellant shall be provided all medical care at regular intervals as he has contended that he is sick and is suffering from some diseases," the court observed.
According to the prosecution, during the preliminary verification that the results of the JKCET 2012 had surprised a number of aspirants for the reasons that a good number of candidates from a particular district with insignificant merit in the qualifying examinations had not only qualified the examination but had also made it to the top ranks in the select list. It led to widespread public outcry and resentment against the fairness and genuineness of the examinations and some of the unsuccessful students even lodged their complaints as well. The notion got further strengthened when most of those top-ranking candidates in the JKCET, 2012, failed in the internal session examinations and were not allowed to sit in the 1st year of the MBBS examination by their respective colleges.
During the course of preliminary verification, one of the successful candidates in the JKCET, 2012, namely accused No. 18, Naveed Ahmed Bhat, upon questioning could not even spell correctly the word 'Chemistry'. It further came to the fore that one of the accused persons, namely Farooq Ahmad Itoo (turned to be an approver), who had been running a computer centre under the name and style of 'M/S Info-tech Computers at Bijbehara', was a close associate of accused No.1, namely, Mushtaq Ahmad Peer/ i.e. the applicant/ appellant herein, who had made the question papers of the JKCET, 2012 available to some candidates of a particular area in advance through his associates, touts, and parents of the aspirants against huge monetary considerations.
Upon receipt of the report of the preliminary verification, the IGP, Crime, ordered the registration of the FIR and holding of a detailed investigation. It led to the registration of the FIR No. 24 of 2013 on September 24, 2013, for the commission of the offences punishable under Sections 420, 120-B of the RPC and 5(1)(d) r/w 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Justice MK Hanjura after hearing both the sides observed that conviction of a public servant, convicted in corruption cases, cannot be suspended just on the asking of it, as doing so will have adverse impact on the public interest. "…The offences committed by the applicant/appellant have a serious adverse impact on the fabric of the society. His actions have not even spared the son of a truck driver who had made the grade, but was shown the exit on flimsy grounds. He would have been aspiring to become a doctor, but in the need and greed of earning undue pecuniary gains on the part of the applicant/appellant, he, too, has not been spared and, therefore, in my considered opinion it is not a fit case where the judgment dated April 25, 2018, as passed by the court of Special Judge Anti-Corruption, Kashmir, Srinagar… can be stayed and the sentence recorded against the applicant/ appellant suspended."