The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday dismissed the pleas seeking to recall a victim of the 2006 J&K sex scandal as a witness in the ongoing trial at the Chandigarh district court. The victim and the prime accused in the case, along with two other accused, had approached the High Court in February claiming that the CBI had forced her to depose against the accused in 2006. The sex scandal that allegedly involved the rich and powerful of Valley was exposed after the residents of a locality in Srinagar approached police with a video that showed the victim nude. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court transferred the probe to CBI from the J&K Police after a hue and cry over the alleged sex racket. A number of influential people including two ministers, top police officers and others were accused in the case.
The bench of Justice Augustine George Masih, which had reserved the judgment after conclusion of arguments in the case in February, on Wednesday dismissed all the three pleas seeking directions to re-examine the victim as a prosecution witness at the trial court. The petitions had been filed by the victim and two accused, Shabbir Ahmad Laway and Mohammad Ashraf Mir. The victim had filed the appeal against the special CBI court order dated February 25, 2016, by which her application for recalling her as a witness was dismissed.
CBI counsel Sumeet Goel, during the hearing at High Court, had argued that the accused and prosecutrix were in “active connivance” and that it was reflected by the fact that the victim filed her plea only after the accused approached the High Court for a similar purpose. The trial was shifted to Chandigarh after the Kashmir High Court Bar Association had refused to represent the accused in the case. The cross-examination of the victim concluded on April 27, 2007, at the Chandigarh court.
All the accused are now on bail and many have been acquitted.