Molestation case: City court declines to stay proceedings

Srinagar: A local court here on Friday turned down an application by a lady doctor for stay of proceedings in a case involving allegation of sexual assault by her against former Minister of State for Health and senior Congress leader Shabir Ahmad Khan.
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).
In her application before Chief Judicial Magistrate here, the doctor had said that it will be in the interest of justice and fair play if the proceedings of the chargesheet were stayed till final decision of a petition pending disposal before Supreme Court of India.
Subsequently, on the directions by the CJM, Khan submitted objections to the application, maintaining that it was not maintainable.
He had asserted that the contentions in the plea were contrary to the doctrine of speedy trial and that in absence of any stay proceedings by the Apex Court, trial cannot be put on hold.
Announcing his decision a week after reserving it for orders, the CJM Virender Singh Bahu observed that there was no order for staying the proceedings in the main case by the Supreme Court while admitting the Special Leave petition by the victim.
“It is explicit that compliant/victim has challenged the bail order passed by High Court (before the Supreme Court) and even in case SLP is allowed and bail cancelled that shall not influence trial before this court,” the CJM said.
Further, it said, accused is a sitting legislator and in light of the guidelines of Apex Court, trial of the case has to be conducted speedily. “Judging the application of the victim from all corners, no good ground is made for staying the proceedings,” the court said and rejected it.
Meanwhile, the court issued a notice Khan on an application filed by counsel for victim, advocate Mir Shafaqat Hussain seeking to contest independent of prosecution.
Earlier advocates Mushtaq Ahmad Dar and Hilal Ahmad filed power of attorney to represent Khan in the case before the court.
On April 3, police filed chargesheet before the CJM in Khan’s absence, claiming that he did not cooperate with it.
Subsequently, the court summoned him and he appeared before on May 6.
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.