Court Acquits Gulzar ‘Peer’ Of Rape Charges

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SRINAGAR: A division bench of Jammu wing of the J&K High Court has acquitted, Gulzar Ahmad Bhat alias Gulzar Peer, who was held on charges of raping girl students at his seminary in 2013.

The bench consisted of Justice Janak Raj Kotwal and Justice BS Walia.

The court in its judgment, according to Gulzar’s advocate, Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, has said that the acquittal rendered by the learned trial court does not call for any interference by this court and this appeal (against the acquittal of Gulzar by the state government) is therefore dismissed as without any merit.

In 2015, the state government had filed an appeal in the High Court after massive public pressure against his acquittal by the Principal Sessions court in Budgam.

Gulzar was accused by four girls of raping them, at his institute in Shamsabad village in December 2012.

The court has come down heavily on the J&K police for “miserably” failing to prove the case. The court pointed out that the reason for delay in filing of FIR and failure to prove the seizure of evidence from Gulzar’s home turned “lethal” for the case.

Police had listed 13 people as accused in the case and 18 prosecution witnesses were identified of whom all but one were examined: Tehsildar Mohammad Hussain Shah, who died of “natural causes”, according to police.

Going against the laid down procedures in law, the police had made no secondary witness to the sealing of the material. The court observed that the sealing of these materials could not be proved which went against the prosecution’s theory.

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