Srinagar: A court in Budgam on Friday rejected a plea for bail by self-styled faith healer Gulzar Ahmad Bhat alias Gulzar Peer whose acquittal on charges of rape of four girls was upheld by the J&K High Court last month.
According to the prosecution, Gulzar was arrested in the instant case (FIR 15/2015) only on March 6 this year. However, Gulzar said that while Sessions Judge Budgam ordered his acquittal
in FIR (40/2015), he was not released but named in another case (FIR 15/2015) for offence under RPC sections of 307(attempt to murder), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 427 (mischief).
He said investigation agency has failed to file the charge sheet against him and that four persons have already been released on bail as such his plea should be accepted.
The prosecution, however, contended his claims by stating that he was not arrested in the FIR (15/2015) but on the direction of the High Court after the state filed appeal against his acquittal by Sessions Court Budgam.
After hearing both the sides, the CJM Budgam rejected Gulzar’s application as bereft of any merit.
“It is clearly established by the admission of the accused person that he was not formally arrested in case FIR (15/2015) nor the continuous custody of accused is proved, therefore the bail application preferred under section 167(2) of CrPC being bereft of any merit deserves no consideration, as such rejected,” the court said.
On February 23, the High Court, while upholding acquittal order by sessions court Budgam had ordered Gulzar’s release from custody forthwith if not required in any other case.
The case (FIR40/2015) was filed by police after four girls studying at Peer’s seminary at Shamasabad village had complained on May 19, 2013 that the accused was raping them after calling them to his chamber on the pretext of religious teachings.
The girls said while committing the crime, Peer would raise the volume of a tape recorder to drown their cries. They also alleged that he would render them unconscious by casting “magical spells” on them.
A special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by police filed charge sheet against Gulzar for commission of offence under RPC section 376 (rape). On 12 February 2015, Gulzar and other accused were acquitted by the Sessions Court Budgam observing that prosecution failed to prove the guilt against them.