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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

J&K Crime Branch files charge sheet against 25 in MBBS selection scam

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

JAMMU: The Crime Branch Kashmir on Sunday presented challan before a judicial magistrate in the infamous MBBS selection scam of the Board of Professional Entrance Examinations [BOPEE].
Additional Superintendent of Police, Crime Branch Kashmir, Mir Aftab Aalam, who headed the investigation, submitted the challan to Special Judge Anti-Corruption Kashmir M.L. Mahas at the latter’s residence here due to the winter vacation in courts in Kashmir province. After hearing the Prosecuting Officer M.A. Al-Mansoor, the judge extended remand of detention in favour of an accused, Sajjad Ahmad, and listed the matter on January 18.

Mr Aalam told The Hindu that the first part of the investigation into the irregularities in the BOPEE’s Common Entrance Test of June 2012 was completed and charges were established with substantial evidences against the board’s former Chairman Prof. Mushtaq Ahmad Pir, three of his ‘touts and agents’, 12 candidates and 9 of their parents. The parents of three of the accused candidates have passed away in the last over one year. He said that in all charge-sheet was presented against 25 persons, including the key accused Prof. Pir. Only three of the 25 accused were currently in the judicial custody and the Crime Branch remand. He said that all the 25 accused would be produced before the judge on the next day of the hearing.
The State government has terminated the contractual engagement of Prof. Pir who had been appointed as Advisor on fast track recruitment of Class 4th officials after his retirement with the BOPEE in 2012. Facing media reports on the irregularities and a PIL in J&K High Court, Omar Abdullah’s government has ordered the Crime Branch investigation into the MBBS candidates’ selection earlier this year. There were serious allegations of the selection of a number of low-merit candidates against huge amounts of bribe money ranging between Rs 6 lakh and Rs 20 lakh. Mr Aalam said that most of the charges were found true. He said that one part of the investigation was still underway and a supplementary chargesheet was likely to be presented later this year.