The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday admitted another appeal moved by Zulfiqar Khan, director of NGO Theatre Age, convicted in three cases of sodomising children, for hearing as per turn.
Earlier on February 20, the High Court had admitted his appeal in one of the three cases. For the remaining two cases, he had filed an appeal on Friday. The court has stayed the fine imposed by the trial court on Khan in all the three cases.
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J S Sidhu, Additional District and Sessions Judge at Chandigarh district courts, had on December 23, 2016, sentenced Khan to seven years rigorous imprisonment for committing unnatural sex and for exhibiting and circulating obscene objects to youngsters in each of the three cases while imposing a total fine of Rs. 31,000. The total imprisonment period was thus 21 years.
The trial court had observed, “He (Khan) was the teacher of the children which became victim in the hands of the convict. It spoiled the pious relationship of a student and teacher. A teacher has a dominating position over his students and that position has been misused by the convict.”
Later on an application moved by Khan seeking directions that the seven years sentence in three separate cases should run concurrently rather than consecutively, the judge had ordered that sentence would run concurrently in only two of the three cases. Thus the sentence was reduced from 21 years to 14 years imprisonment.
Khan was arrested by the Chandigarh police in July 2015 from his Sector 25 school for underprivileged children. Two of his students had complained that Khan used to force them into unnatural sex.