Srinagar: A trial court in Srinagar on Monday deferred the announcement of judgment in Board of Professional Entrance Examination (BOPEE) Scam, listing it again on 21 February, 2018.
The case involving Mushtaq Ahmad Peer, a former chairman of the BOPEE, and others 50 accused in 2012 CET (Common Entrance Test) scam has been deferred for the 12th consecutive time.
The anti-corruption court in Srinagar had deferring the verdict on 15th November 2017. The court during the last proceedings had set 8th February 2018 as next date, but again it was deferred to 12 February, and on Monday also it has been deferred to 21 February date of this month.
The court has already recorded the statements of witnesses. Both the counsels from defence as well as from state have concluded their arguments. “The deferring of the judgement has frustrated both the parties.”
Mushtaq Ahmad Peer who was arrested on 23rNovember 2014 by the crime branch after an investigation revealed that he had allegedly sold the CET-2012 papers along with answer keys for Rs 60 lakh.
Peer and over 50 other accused in the case were charge-sheeted in FIR 24/2013 under section 420, 120B RPC, 5(2) d r/w (5(2) PC Act) in police station crime branch. Among the accused included students, parents and the brokers.
The Supreme Court in 2017 had directed the trial court of Srinagar to conclude the trial into the multi-crore cash-for-paper scam expeditiously within three months.
Later on a letter which was sent on 17 April 2017 by the special judge, anti-corruption Kashmir, stating that the time period of three months granted by the Apex court had lapsed and further extension be granted to conclude the trial.
The apex court had passed direction to trial court after hearing an appeal filed by the BOPEE against high court’s 20 March 2014 order, in which the board had been directed to publish a list of 21 meritorious candidates who on the basis of merit may be considered for admission to the MBBS course in place of candidates whose admission had been cancelled following a probe conducted by crime Branch Kashmir. The government had insisted that Peer was sole custodian and trustee of the question papers for CET-2012.
It said, “He was found to have abused his official position by making sale of question papers along with answer keys prior to examination and conferred undue benefit upon the beneficiaries, resulting in selection of undeserving candidates for MBBS.”
The high court has already granted bail to Peer on 24 May 2016. The case is running in 7th year for the conclusion.