Judicial exam topper denies militancy charge, moves top court

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Sep 07, 2015 20:39 IST
Supreme Court of India, New Delhi. (HT Photo)

A Valley resident has approached the Supreme Court to challenge claims that he was a former militant and sought orders for the state government to install him as a judge.

Altaf Ahmad Khan, who topped the Higher Judicial Service selection exam in 2012, told the country's top judges that a court in Kashmir had acquitted him of all charges and ordered his release in 1999.

Khan, who has a law degree from National Law School, also said a CID or criminal investigation department report had found "negative" militant links. He added that he also had a passport, something that is not issued to those who were either former militants or had links with militants.

Khan moved court after a petitioner challenged his selection on account of his "character verification" by the police, which had revealed that the topper had allegedly crossed the border for arms training in PoK and was "active" from 1991 to 1998.

A newspaper clipping, reporting that the selected candidate had "militant links", formed the basis of the fresh petition.

Police sources also told HT that Khan was arrested in 1998 and served a sentence of 15 months under the Public Safety Act (PSA), which, before an amendment, called for detention without trial for two years.

Khan, however, rebutted the claims and insisted that the courts had cleared him and also quashed the PSA.

"If a former chief secretary can be installed on the highest bureaucratic position in the state after being acquitted by a court, why is a different yardstick being used for me," Khan told HT, referring to former chief secretary Iqbal Khanday, who was an accused in the infamous sex scandal before being cleared of the charges.

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