Peer sold question papers through brokers; 43 convicted
A special anti-corruption court in Srinagar on Wednesday convicted former head of the J&K Board of Professional Entrance Examinations (BOPEE) Mushtaq Ahmad Peer and 42 other accused in the 2012 MBBS paper scam.
The court sentenced Peer, the prime accused, to 16 years of rigorous imprisonment besides imposing a fine of Rs 1 crore on him for his corrupt practices. While convicting Peer on four counts with punishment adding to 16 years, the court observed that the sentences would run consecutively and ordered confiscating his properties to recover the fine amount.
It also issued directives that Peer, who was out on bail, should be arrested and lodged at Central Jail in Srinagar.
The 2012 MBBS paper scam involves the sale of Common Entrance Test (CET) 2012 question papers by ex-BOPEE head Mushtaq Peer through brokers in lieu of Rs 60 lakh.
“The trial has convicted Mushtaq Peer along with 42 other accused in the case. Out of the 54 accused arraigned in the case, only seven have been acquitted,” Chief Prosecution Officer Khalid Muzaffar, who has been associated with the trial of the case since the beginning, told Kashmir Post.
“The accused No.1 Mushtaq Peer, being at the helm of affairs as chairman of the board, occupied the top position which he has abused to the fullest by orchestrating the criminal conspiracy for putting on sale the question papers, the secrecy of which he was under obligation to maintain,” the court observed in its over 380-page judgment.
“This dastardly crime is his brainchild and it would not have been possible for the others to have even a glimpse of the question papers had he not defied the state by throwing to the winds the requisite standards of probity expected from a public servant of his calibre and stature having served as teacher at the highest level for the maximum part of his career and chosen to hold the coveted position even after his superannuation,” it said while sentencing Peer to five years of imprisonment besides imposing a fine of Rs 1 crore. The court also sentenced main broker Sajjad Ahmad, who played a key role in the scam, to jail besides imposing a fine of 50 lakh.
Out of the 54 accused by the Crime Branch in its investigation, three were juveniles who are being separately tried by a juvenile court. One of accused who had turned an approver has been acquitted.
Info leaked in hotel room
During the trial, one of the accused, Dr Nissar, a medical officer, had turned hostile, retracting his statement in which he had confessed he was present in a hotel room in the Dal Lake area where some students had solved MBBS papers obtained by brokers
Two other witnesses in the case, approver Farooq Ahmad Yatoo and Yasin Reshi, in their statement testified that Nissar was present in the same room where the students solved their MBBS papers after they were sold to them by BOPEE ex-chairman Mushtaq Peer (in pic) through brokers