January 14, 2014 4:04:00 am
Former chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Board of Professional Entrance Exams (BOPEE) Mushtaq Ahmed Peer has come under Enforcement Directorate (ED) scanner, which registered a case against Peer. He earlier headed BOPEE, which conducts entrance examinations for undergraduate and postgraduate professional programmes. After his retirement, the state engaged him as consultant. The scam was unearthed in November.
Soon after the scandal came to light, the J&K government was forced to act against Peer. The J&K Board is learnt to have initiated the process of cancelling admission in professional courses where aspirants got admission using unfair means. On Sunday, J&K crime branch filed a case against Peer and 24 others.
According to preliminary findings by the ED, Peer and his family had, in three years, built properties and assets worth Rs 25 crore, including two flats in New Delhi, a flat and a house in Jammu, 2.10 acres of land in Kashmir and a house in Pahalgam and Srinagar. The agencies identified several bank accounts in his and his associates’ names allegedly showing deposits worth several lakhs, sources said. Peer’s counsel Abdulla Pandit said, “I am not aware about ED investigations but a chargesheet has been filed against my client.”
The scam was unearthed in November when the J&K crime branch probed leakage of papers of MBBS and other professional courses which were sold to aspirants. Peer was accused of operating through two others, who were arrested. The two claimed Peer ran the racket and told the police they allegedly offered consultancy to aspirants and set up offices in Srinagar and Bangalore.
ED registered a case after receiving a reference from the state government. Sources said investigation revealed that the net was spread to other states and the agency will soon start questioning Peer and the others. The case has been registered under section 3 of prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Under the provisions, properties and bank accounts can be attached by the agency if charges are proved, said officials adding they have asked the police to share their probe report and findings on assets of Peer. ED officials learnt Peer allegedly sold question papers of professional courses between Rs 50-60 lakh to some agents who are said to have collected more than Rs 6 crore by selling it.
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