Srinagar: Former Minister of State for Health and senior Congress leader, Shabir Ahmad Khan, who has been accused of attempting to sexually assault a lady doctor here earlier this year, appeared before a local court here on Tuesday.
Khan has been charged under RPC sections of 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman).
On April 3, police filed chargesheet before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar in Khan’s absence, claiming that incumbent the Member of Legislative Assembly from Rajouri constituency did not cooperate with it.
Subsequently, the court summoned him to appear before it on May 6.
As the case came up before the CJM Virender Singh Bahu, Khan caused his appearance along with his counsel advocate Abdullah Pandit.
Instantly, Khan moved an application against Investigation Officer for filing the chargesheet in his absence, claiming that he was not informed about it.
However, he later decided not to contest the application and it was subsequently disposed of by the court.
“Since law permits for presentation of challan in absence of accused and also accused does not want to contest the petition, application is disposed of and same be made part of the main case file,” the court said.
At the same time, the court allowed prayer by advocate Pandit seeking time to file power of attorney on behalf of Khan.
Meanwhile, the court directed Khan as well as prosecution to file objections by May 16 to an application filed by victim doctor through her counsel advocate Rafiq Ahmad Joo, seeking stay on proceedings pending outcome of a Special Leave Petition (SLP) at Supreme Court of India. The apex court has already issued notice to Khan and state.
Khan had resigned as MoS Health on February 7, a day after police registered the case FIR (No. 09/2014) under RPC sections of 354 and 509 based on a complaint by the doctor.
Even as the CJM had issued arrested warrant against him, Khan remained in hiding for six days and appeared before the police only after interim bail was granted by the High Court.
The lady doctor had said that Khan “acted like a sexual predator” and tried to molest her in his office at Winter Secretariat here on January 28.