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J-K sex scandal: Court awards 10 year jail to former BSF DIG, DSP

Sex scandal involving powerful men shocked Srinagar 12 years ago; court says even if a victim is proved to have lost her virginity it does not give a license to any person to rape her.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2018 13:41 IST
Aneesha Bedi and Tanbir Dhaliwal
Aneesha Bedi and Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Srinagar sex scandal,Kashmir sex scandal,Kashmir
Former BSF DIG KC Padhi at the district courts in Chandigarh on Wednesday. (Sikander Singh Chopra/HT)

A special CBI court on Wednesday awarded 10 years imprisonment to five persons, including a former DIG of the Border Security Force (BSF), a former DSP and three others in a twelve-year-old sex scandal in Jammu & Kashmir which involved a minor.

A fine of Rs 1 lakh each was also imposed on BSF ex-DIG KC Padhi, former deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Mohammad Ashraf Mir while the three other convicts — J&K residents Shabbir Ahmed Laway, Shabbir Ahmed Langhoo and Masud Ahmed — were fined Rs 50,000 each. The amount will be used to provide relief to the victim for the loss of her reputation, dignity and an opportunity for education, ruled the court.

The sex scandal came to light in 2006 after the police recovered some video CDs of minor Kashmiri girls being sexually exploited by the police officials, ministers and other influential people. Calling poverty a form of structural violence, judge Gaganjit Kaur observed, “Most girls of poor families become prey to satisfy the lust of a man for a petty amount to ruin their lives… it is the system which is responsible to bring poor minor girls in such a muddy profession of flesh trade...”

The court dismissed the argument that the convicts did not know the survivor’s age. Court said contention by convicts regarding not having knowledge of the victim’s age held “no weight”. “Even in case of rape where the victim is major and is alleged to have been previously accustomed to sexual intercourse, it cannot be a determinative question because even if it is proved the victim lost her virginity earlier, it does not give a license to anyone to rape her.”

The court, while convicting five people on May 30, had acquitted two persons named in the scandal, former additional advocate general Anil Sethi and Mehrajudin Malik.

The kingpin of the scandal, Sabeena, and her husband died during trial. The then chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had handed over the case to the CBI.

First Published: Jun 06, 2018 19:45 IST