CET Scam Architect Gets 16 Years In Jail,Fined Rs 1 Crore 

Srinagar—The former chairman of the Board of Professional Entrance Examination (BOPEE), Mushtaq Ahmad Peer,  who allegedly engineered the common Entrance Test (CET) 2012 scam, was on Wednesday sentenced to sixteen years in jail on four counts and fined whopping Rs one crore fine for “blatant abuse of his official position of the worst kind”. 

Special Judge Anti-Corruption Srinagar Yashpal Bourney also convicted and sentenced to varied jail terms and fined 42 other accused persons including brokers, parents and beneficiary students while it acquitted seven others. 

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“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 winds requisite standards of probity expected from a public servant of his caliber and stature having served as teacher at highest level for the maximum part of his career and chosen to hold the coveted position even after his superannuation,” the court said. 

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 said. 

“The conspiracy was planned so conspicuously by the accused-1 (Peer) who took full advantage of the experience of years acquired by him as to the trends in results of previous years by not providing the complete sets of question papers so as to guard against any possible suspicion. The kind of duplicity exhibited by him is further evident from the two different styles of signatures put in by him at the time of his examination when handed down the charge and further examination under section 342 CrPC.” The court said that the conduct of Peer in joining hands consciously with the brokers for putting the question papers of entrance examination on sale amounts should attract all revulsion being a blatant abuse of his official position of the worst kind, besides, the breach of the trust and utter betrayal of the confidence reposed by the Government of the time who in him by choosing him for the coveted position even after his superannuation and the kind of fraud played by him with the careers of thousands of meritorious students as well as their parents who had all alone toiled hard and burnt midnight oils for making it to the merit list. 

Further, the court said, far from showing any remorse for what he did, he has no hesitation in blaming the then Chief Minister for his involvement into this case. 

The court said that Peer has also shaken the confidence of the public at large into the fairness of the working of such statutory bodies which, it would take years of concerted efforts to restore, as such incidents leave a deep imprint on the minds of the public at large, besides, an occasion to the wily elements to exploit the situation for their advantage by citing such examples, the court said.

“These are some of the reasons for large scale brain drain from the state and the other law and order problems faced by the State in the contemporary times. Therefore, this accused deserves no leniency at all,” the court said and sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for five years the maximum term provided for offence under section 5(1)(d) r/w 5(2) P. C. Act. 

“Given the quantum of the illegal gains made by the said convict (Peer) and the growth during the past six years, he is sentenced to pay a fine of Rupees one Crore.”

The court also sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment of three years for offence u/s 409 RPC (criminal breach of trust), which otherwise is the maximum imprisonment for offence punishable under section 406 RPC for which he was mistakenly charged but corrected afterwards. Considering the enormity of the crime and the number of students deprived of their lawful berths, the court said Peer is further sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of seven years for offence u/s 420 RPC. He was further sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment of one year for offence u/s 120-B RPC (criminal conspiracy.) 

“All these sentenced shall run consecutively and fine imposed shall be recovered from the movable/immovable assets of the convict in terms of the provisions of section 386 CrPC for which a separate warrant be issued to the Collector Srinagar.”

Regarding three brokers namely Sajjad Ahmad, Mohammad Amin Ganai and Suhail Ahmad Wani, “who made the maximum out of it by involving as many candidates as they could and in the process have made fortunes for themselves in just one night which otherwise people at large fail to do even after a lifelong hard work.”

“Sajjad has not only used the services of his agents but has also made use of the mobile numbers in the name of others under a well considered plan. He has further made the most of it being already in the business and has also withheld the particulars of the beneficiaries under him,” the court said and sentenced him for five years for the commission of offence u/s 5(1)(d) r/w 5(2) P.C. Act and 120-B RPC and fined him Rupees fifty lacs. “He shall further undergo rigorous imprisonment of seven years for offence u/s 420 RPC. The sentences shall run consecutively and fine imposed shall be recovered from the movable/immovable assets of the convict in terms of the provisions of section 386 CrPC for which a separate warrant be issued to the Collector Srinagar.”

Convicts Mohammad Amin Ganai and Suhail Ahmad Wani were sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for five years for the commission of offence u/s 5(1)(d) r/w 5(2) P.C. Act and 120-B RPC. “Taking into account the illicit gains made by them, they are further sentenced to pay a fine of Rupees twenty five lacs each. They shall further undergo rigorous imprisonment of three years for offence u/s 420 RPC and both the sentenced shall run consecutively. The sentences shall run consecutively and fine imposed shall be recovered from the movable/immovable assets of the convicts in terms of the provisions of section 386 CrPC for which a separate warrant be issued to the Collector Srinagar.”

As regard the convicts–Haroon Rashid Lone and Shabir Ahmad Dar they have only assisted the convict Sajjad Ahmad Bhat in carrying out the illegal sale by the latter. “They are sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of three years for offence u/s 5(2) P. C. Act r/w 120-B RPC and to pay a fine of Rupees five lacs each. They are further sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of three years for offence u/s 420 RPC and both the sentenced shall run consecutively.” 

The parents/guardians—Bilal Ahmad Vaid, Gulam Mohi-ud-din Lone, Mohammed Yousuf Dar, Bashir Ahmad Dar, Abdul Qadir Rather, Gulam Nabi Bhat, Farooq Ahmad Shah, Mohammed Shafi Bandh, Mohammed Iqbal Reshi, Fida Hussain, Mohammed Amin Mir, Altaf Hussain Shah, Jan Mohammed Dar, Mushtaq Ahmed Kenu, Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, Abdul Hamid Bhat, Bashir Ahmad Tantray, Dar Paraveen, and Dr. Sabina—were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of three years for offence u/s 5(1) (d) read with 5(2) P. C. Act and 120-B RPC and fined Rupees five lacs each. “They shall further undergo rigorous imprisonment of three years for offence u/s 420 RPC and both the sentenced shall run concurrently.” 

 “In their eagerness to see their wards in the coveted course have used their money power for grabbing illegally the berths which otherwise would have gone to the meritorious students whosoever deserved the most. However, as of now they have not only failed in their nefarious mission and lost the money which they paid but also have lost the berths illegally grabbed by their wards,” the court said. 

Lastly, the accused students—Bazilla Bilal, Mushtaq Ahmad Lone, Yasir Yousuf Dar, Ruhail Amin, Imtijaz-ul-Hussain Shah, Yasmeen Jan, Arooj Mushtaq Kenu, Heena Saleem, Mehvish Bashir, Beenish Bhat, and Mansha— had just completed their teens and attained the age of majority. 

“Most of them have fallen prey to the sinister designs of their overambitiousness parents/guardians who, instead of leading to the righteous path during their impressionable years of life, have pushed them to the situation wherein they have landed today. But, these students have also not speared a thought for their meritorious brethren who deserved these berths on account of their superior merit. In the process, they have not only been turned out but have also lost precious years of their careers besides being stigmatized forever.” Accordingly they were sentenced to simple imprisonment of one year for offence u/s 5(1) (d) r/w 5(2) P.C. Act and 120-B RPC. They are further sentenced to simple imprisonment of one year for offence u/s 420 RPC and both the sentenced shall run concurrently. 

‘Rs 50,000 Each Be Paid To First Meritorious Students As Token Compensation’  

Special Judge Anti-Corruption Srinagar Yashpal Bourney on Wednesday ordered that out of the fine amount so realized from convicts, each of the candidates whose score was more than 90% in the academic side in the qualifying examination and had appeared in the CET 2012 and was within the next fifty candidates in the order of merit from the cut of point, shall be paid fifty thousand rupees each as token compensation.

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