New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India on Thursday directed Special Judge Anti-Corruption Srinagar to conclude the trial into multi-crore cash-for-paper scam of Common Entrance Test 2012, allegedly engineered by the former chairman of Board of Professional Entrance Examinations (BOPEE) Mushtaq Ahmad Peer, within three months.
“The request made by the Special Judge, Anti Corruption, Kashmir Srinagar is allowed in terms of the prayer made. Trial be concluded within three months from today (May 4),” said a division headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar.
The order by the bench, also comprising Justices Dr D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul followed perusal of a letter by sent on April 17 by the Special Judge, Anti-Corruption Kashmir, stating that the time period of three months granted by apex court has lapsed by end of March and further extension of three months be granted to conclude the trial.
The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by the BOPEE against High Court 20 March 2014 directions, directing it to publish a list of 21 meritorious candidates who on the basis of merit may be considered for admission to the MBBS course in place of candidates whose admission have been cancelled following a probe conducted by crime branch Kashmir.
On previous date of hearing, the Apex Court was informed by the counsel representing BOPEE that more than 100 prosecution witnesses including two crime branch officers have already been examined at the trial so far.
He urged that instead of hearing and disposing of the matter, it would be more appropriate to direct the trial court to conclude the trial expeditiously and to pass appropriate orders on the subject as far as possible within a time frame to be fixed by the apex court.
“Keeping in view the nature of the controversy especially the fact that the cases before us relate to the purity of the process of selection of candidates for admission to medical colleges in the state, we are of the view that instead of passing any interim direction at this stage for re-admission of the (concerned accused) to the course to which they were earlier admitted, we deem it appropriate to direct the trial court to conclude the trial expeditiously and as far as possible within a period of three months,” the court had said on the previous hearing.
The crime branch has filed charge sheet against sixty persons in the scam which include 29 students, 24 parents and 6 brokers besides Peer, who was released on bail after remaining behind bars for more than two years.