CBI court acquits two ex-ministers, bureaucrat
Kingpin, her husband among the acquitted in the case filed under PITA; main case that rocked the state in March 2006 still pending in Chandigarh court
CHANDIGARH: CBI special judge Vimal Kumar on Saturday acquitted Jammu and Kashmir principal secretary Iqbal Khandey, sitting MLA and exminister Ghulam Ahmed Mir and former minister Raman Mattoo along with alleged sex scandal kingpin Sabeena and her husband Abdul Hamid after the central agency failed to prove charges against them under Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA).
The accused, facing trial under Section 5 of PITA on charge of exploitation of women by promising them jobs, were acquitted after the alleged victims retract from their earlier statements.
The main case pertaining to the sex scandal, which rocked the state of Jammu and Kashmir in March 2006, is still pending.
As the court pronounced the order of acquittal, the accused stood there expressionless, shut their eyes for some moments before their faces lit up with smiles.
“There was no FIR or complaint as such against the accused. As per the CBI, three women had claimed sexual exploitation at the hands of the accused, who have now denied making such allegations against the accused.
The CBI had accused them of procuring sex workers but all the alleged victims of sexual exploitation in their statements before the court denied that they are sex workers,” said Mir’s counsel Ranjan Lakhanpal while talking to Hindustan Times after the acquittal.
CBI counsel RK Handa said, “The victims in their statements before the magistrate had alleged that they were exploited by the accused. The victims had even showed the central investigating agency the house and the room where they were exploited.
However, in their statement before the trial court, they turned hostile and thus the court gave benefit of doubt to the accused and acquitted them.”
Handa said that the court had also acquitted alleged kingpin Sabeena and her husband Abdul Hamid, who were accused of living off the earnings of sex workers.