CET Scam: Peer’s Bail Plea Rejected

CET Scam: Peer’s Bail Plea Rejected

17 December 2013
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Ishfaq Tantry

Srinagar: A special anti-corruption court rejected the bail plea of Board of Professional Entrance Examinations (BOPEE) former chairman Mushtaq Ahmad Peer here today stating that he betrayed the trust reposed by aspiring meritorious students. Peer is the prime accused in the alleged scam involving the sale of Common Entrance Test (CET)-2012 question papers for selection to medical colleges. He is presently lodged in Central Jail Srinagar where he is serving an extended judicial remand of 15 days. He was arrested by the Crime Branch on November 23 and sent to police remand, which expired on December 7. Rejecting Peer’s bail, Special Judge, anti-corruption, Mohan Lal Manhas said this was the “fittest case” where “jail” and “not bail” was the appropriate remedy, keeping in view the “grave” nature of the crime committed by the accused. “In view of the report submitted by the Crime Branch, the nature of accusation against the applicant- accused are very serious as he has hatched criminal conspiracy with co-accused Farooq Itoo, Haroon Rashid and other brokers and beneficiaries for sale of question papers to undeserving and less meritorious students for monetary considerations for selection in MBBS for the year 2012,” Manhas said. Observing that “corruption destroys societal will to progress” and “accelerates undeserved ambitions”, the judge said Mushtaq Peer was holding an office of public trust as the BOPEE chairman and was required to exhibit to himself to be a person of impeccable character and integrity. “Like Caesar’s wife, Peer was required to be above suspicion and should have discharged his duties with integrity and honesty… but the reverse happened as the applicant-accused, by indulging in the mega paper selling scam for monetary considerations, exhibited unacceptable character,” the court held. “His enlarging on bail at this stage would surely shatter the confidence of the people in the society whose interests are involved in the case,” the court observed. “In view of the aforesaid discussion, I, therefore, hold this is a fittest case where jail and not bail is the appropriate remedy,” Manhas said, while rejecting bail to Mushtaq Peer. The investigating agency must get “more time to collect evidence, he added. The case file The J&K Police Crime Branch told the court that Mushtaq Ahmad Peer sold CET papers through his aide Farooq Ahmad Itoo and in turn received around Rs 60 lakh Peer had sought bail mainly on the ground that the Crime Branch lacked jurisdiction to investigate the case The probe agency vehemently opposed his bail, saying it would derail the investigation.