‘Molester’ Mantri gets interim bail

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SRINAGAR: The High Court granted interim bail to former minister of state for health Shabir Khan Wednesday who had to quit his ministry after a female medico lodged a complaint of sexual assault against him.

Hearing the anticipatory bail application of Khan, Justice Janak Raj Kotwal passed an interim order directing Khan to present himself before police in Srinagar Thursday.

The court also said if police arrest the accused, he should be bailed out after furnishing a bail bond of Rs 25000.

The court has listed the anticipatory bail application for orders on Feb 18.

The court has also restricted Khan’s movement outside Srinagar. “As per court directions Khan cannot leave the Srinagar city before seeking permission of Investigating Officer and he cannot leave the state before the next date of hearing in the matter,” sources in the court said.

Khan got the breather, while as associations of medicos had accused the government of shielding him and have threatened to go on strike if the accused former minister wasn’t arrested. 

Khan is evading arrest following registration of a criminal complaint against him on February 6. Authorities have already deputed a police team to Jammu where they raided many a places to nail Khan but to no avail.

A case was registered by the police under Sec 354 RPC (assault or criminal force on a woman with the intention to outrage her modesty) and Section 509 RPC (word, gesture or act intended to outrage the modesty of a woman).

Khan, an MLA from Rajouri, was initially MoS power, then forest, labour and employment. Last January, he was given independent charge of health. His request that a bail application be allowed to be filed before a bench in Jammu was on February 7 turned down by the chief justice of the High Court in Jammu.

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