Srinagar: Former chairman of J&K Board of Professional Entrance Examination (BOPEE) Mushtaq Ahmad Peer, named by Crime Branch as prime accused in the Common Entrance Test (CET) 2012 paper scam, Friday pleaded innocence and alleged that he was “victim of a conspiracy.”
As the hearing in the fresh bail application moved by the sexagenarian started before the Special Judge Anti-Corruption Kashmir, Mohan Lal Manhas, his counsel advocate Moulvi Aijaz claimed that “had there been no Public Interest Litigation in J&k High Court and public opinion against him, the Crime Branch would have closed this case for want of evidence as was fate of previous inquiries.” In 2012, Crime Branch had received an anonymous complaint with roll numbers of seven candidates who were claimed to have resorted to fraudulent means. However it had closed the case after investigation found the claims to be “baseless”. Subsequently, on July 26 last year, the Crime Branch received a communication from General Administration Department directing it to look into the irregularities committed in the conduct of CET of year 2011, 12 and 13. The Crime Branch investigation culminated into registration of the case under which Peer and 24 others have been charge sheeted in the initial stage. “The accused (Peer) is teacher and not the bureaucrat and as such has become victim of conspiracy,” advocate Aijaz said. He also questioned the mode adopted by the Crime Branch in so far as its investigation was concerned. “Question papers are kept in treasury which is manned by humans and not machines. The investigation agency has not investigated it. Papers have been printed outside and the investigation agency has not gone to check whether the paper may have been leaked there also,” he said. He pleaded that his client was innocent and victim of a conspiracy for the “blunder he committed by entering in the BOPEE.
”He argued for bail on number of grounds including affording an opportunity to Peer to prepare his defence. However, due to paucity of time, advocate Aijaz could not finish his arguments and are likely to be completed tomorrow when the case been posted again. Peer, who was arrested on November 23 last year for allegedly selling CET papers in 2012, has been chargeshteed in case FIR No. 24/2013 Under Section 420, 120B RPC, 5(2)d r/w (5(2) PC Act of Police Station Crime Branch.