Srinagar: The Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Srinagar on Monday admitted a chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the multi-crore Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) scam. National Conference (NC) president, former J&K chief minister and current Member of Parliament from Srinagar, Dr Farooq Abdullah, is one of four persons accused in the chargesheet of the scam.
All the accused with their counsels were present in court when the chargesheet spread over 8,000 pages was filed, except Farooq Abdullah, who is currently out of the country. The court directed the CBI to provide copy of the chargesheet to the accused persons. One of the accused, Bashir Ahmad Misgar, furnished a bail bond to the court.
The charges have been framed against the accused for offences committed under Sections 120B, 406 & 409 of the Ranbir Penal Code.
The CBI had sent summons to all the accused to remain present in court on July 12. The investigation agency could not file the chargesheet as the accused were not present on July 12 when CJM Srinagar directed that the accused must be present in court at the time of filing the chargesheet. The CBI counsel, however, insisted that the chargesheet can be filed in absence of the accused as per recent Supreme Court judgements.
The scam involves the payment of Rs 113.67 crore by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to the state cricket body from 2002 to 2011 and subsequent misappropriation of funds of more than Rs 40 crore of this amount.
On March 9, 2017, the J&K High Court had handed over the probe to the CBI, observing that the police investigation lacked both speed and credibility.
Criminal breach of trust and charges of criminal conspiracy were levelled by CBI against Abdullah and other accused, namely the then president of JKCA, Mohd Saleem Khan, the then general secretary, Ahsan Ahmad Mirza, the then treasurer and an executive in the J&K Bank, Bashir Ahmad Misgar.
The agency has alleged that the BCCI gave Rs 113.67 crore to the JKCA between 2002 and 2011 for the development of cricket facilities in the state. Of this, Rs 43.69 crore was siphoned off and misappropriated by the accused.
The CBI, which had earlier been accused of delaying the chargesheet, was recently ordered by the J&K High Court to present the chargesheet in the case “within one month”.
The case was registered based on a complaint lodged by former JKCA chairman Mohammad Aslam Goni.
Majid Ahmad Dar, a cricketer from Kashmir, who has also served as a coach and selector for Ranji Trophy, told Kashmir Reader, “We are very happy to see that court has entertained the chargesheet as I have filed a public interest litigation (PIL) against the misappropriation of funds in JKCA. Police was investigating the case and wanted to hush up the matter and, thereafter, the case was transferred to CBI, which did fair investigation in proper time to file a chargesheet. Now we hope that justice will be delivered soon.”
In a statement, the NC said, “President Jammu Kashmir National Conference, Dr Farooq Abdullah, has full faith in the judicial system and re-asserts his commitment to cooperate with the Honourable Court’s proceedings in the matter relating to certain financial transactions of the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association. Pertinently, it is important to yet again highlight, it was Dr Farooq Abdullah who sought the registration of an FIR into this matter in the first place. Dr Farooq Abdullah has led his life guided by the strictest principles of selfless public service and probity. He is certain that truth shall prevail. The rank and file of the party draws inspiration from Dr Farooq Abdullah’s resolve to fight earnestly for the truth to be upheld and continues to fully support him in this endeavour.”