Srinagar: A local court here on Monday reserved orders on framing of charge in a case involving allegation of sexual assault against Congress leader and former Minister of State for Health Shabir Ahmad Khan by a lady doctor earlier this year.
Khan has been charged by police 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).
The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Virender Singh Bahu reserved the orders till next week after hearing Senior Prosecution Officer Iftikhar Ahmad, advocate Mir Shafaqat for victim, and advocates Abdullah Pandit and Mushtaq Ahmad Dar representing Khan.
During the arguments on ‘sum and substance of accusations’—as referred in legal parlance—Khan sought his acquittal, saying he has not committed the offences as alleged against him.
On the other hand, prosecution said that there is enough material on record for charging Khan, a sitting MLA from Rajouri Assembly segment in Jammu division.
During the course of arguments, a verbal brawl unfolded between counsels representing Khan. While one of them insisted to keep the arguments precise at the initial stage of the case, the other went to refer various judgments by Supreme Court and High Courts, leading to heated exchange of words between the duo.
On April 3, police filed chargesheet before the CJM in Khan’s absence, claiming that he did not cooperate with it, a charge denied by the later subsequently.
Khan had resigned as MoS Health on February 7, a day after police registered the case FIR (No. 09/2014) 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.