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

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Live - - CITY/SPORT - Shailee Do­gra shailee.do­gra@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

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