CET scam: Peer, Sajjad object to pardon for prosecution witness

Srinagar: The Special Anti-Corruption Court here on Wednesday partly heard arguments in an application moved by Crime Branch of police seeking pardon to Farooq Ahmad Itoo, one of the kingpins in multi-million cash-for-paper scam of Common Entrance Test of 2012.
In its application, the Crime Branch has sought pardon to Itoo after he expressed “willingness” to be an approver( prosecution witness) in the scam leading to the selection of undeserving candidates to undergo MBBS course in 2012.
As the application came for hearing before the Special Judge Anti-Corruption Kashmir M L Manhas, Chief Prosecuting Officer of Crime Branch Khalid Muzaffar and advocate A M Padroo, representing Mushtaq Ahmad Peer, the arrested former chairman of BOPEE, advanced arguments in support of their contentions.
Having already filed written objections to the Itoo’s pardon, Advocate Padroo argued in support of the opposition to the application by the Crime Branch. On the other hand, CPO advanced arguments for pardon to Itoo, who was brought before the court by the Crime Branch from central jail here.
Advocate Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, representing one of the ‘brokers’ in the scam, Sajjad Ahmad Bhat, sought time for filing the objections.
The court allowed advocate Dar’s submissions and asked him to file the objections on Thursday (February 6).
Meanwhile the court directed central jail authorities to produce Itoo before it on February 8.
The Crime Branch has already booked 12 beneficiaries who were prima facie found by it to have purchased the CET-2012 question papers before the scheduled examination against monetary considerations.
Six of them are contemporary languishing in Central Jail here while fresh arrest warrants have been issued against three others—two of them girls—by the Court. The three remaining beneficiaries are minors (below 18-years of age) and the Crime Branch is “soon” filing a separate charge-sheet before a competent court for offence as defined under section 2(n) of J&K Juvenile Justices (Protection and care) act 2013.
Apart from the 12 candidates, the investigating agency has also booked nine parents, three brokers—Farooq Ahmad Itoo (named as one of the kingpins by the Crime Branch), Sajjad Ahmad Bhat, Haroon Rasheed Lone— and the principal accused Mushtaq Ahmad Peer in case (FIR 24/2013) Under Section 420, 120B RPC, 5(2)d r/w (5(2) PC Act of Police Station Crime Branch.