Twelve years after a sex scandal that allegedly involved the rich and powerful of Srinagar, the victim and prime witness in the case has approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court, claiming that the CBI forced her to depose against the accused persons in 2006. She has pleaded that the trial court proceedings be stayed and it be directed to re-examine her as a prosecution witness.
The victim has 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 by the trial court.
Arguments in the appeal case began Monday and will continue Tuesday. CBI counsel Sumeet Goel maintained that “the accused and prosecutrix have now connived with each other”.
In 2006, residents of a locality in Srinagar had 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 trial was later shifted to Chandigarh and cross-examination of the victim concluded on April 27, 2007. All the accused are now on bail and many have been acquitted.
The victim’s plea is being heard in the Punjab and Haryana High Court along with that of accused Shabir Ahmad Laway, who also is seeking the victim’s re-examination. His plea had been dismissed by the trial court on February 2.
“The petitioner did not lodge any complaint and her statement before the CBI does not disclose any grievance. The CBI recorded her wrong and baseless statement and was made to appear as PW1 before the Ld. Special Judge, CBI and was threatened by the CBI to give statement as per their dictates so as to make allegations against various persons who are now facing trial in the present FIR. The petitioner was released from custody by CBI after examination as witness,” stated the plea in the High Court.
The victim’s counsel Rajat Khanna told The Indian Express that “the case shall now be heard daily till the arguments conclude”.
In her plea, the victim said: “Due to the examination of the petitioner in custody, whereby she was forced to make allegations against innocent persons, has resulted in false implications of the persons.”
The victim said she did not have the “courage and strength to appear in person” before the trial court or before the competent authority due to the “fear psychosis generated by CBI”.