Theatre Age sex scandal: Zulfiqar Khan gets 7 years in jail for sodomy | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Theatre Age sex scandal: Zulfiqar Khan gets 7 years in jail for sodomy

One-and-a-half years after Zulfiqar Khan, the tainted director of NGO Theatre Age, was arrested for sexually abusing his students, a local court on Friday sentenced him to seven years on Friday. The court had held him guilty of sodomy on Thursday. The court of additional district and sessions judge JS Sidhu also a imposed a fine Rs 11,000 on him.

punjab Updated: Dec 24, 2016 12:14 IST
Aneesha Bedi
Police take Zulfiqar Khan out of the district courts complex in Sector 43 in Chandigarh on Friday.
Police take Zulfiqar Khan out of the district courts complex in Sector 43 in Chandigarh on Friday.(Ravi Kumar/HT Photo)

One-and-a-half years after Zulfiqar Khan, the tainted director of NGO Theatre Age, was arrested for sexually abusing his students, a local court on Friday sentenced him to seven years on Friday.

The court had held him guilty of sodomy on Thursday. The court of additional district and sessions judge JS Sidhu also a imposed a fine Rs 11,000 on him.

Of the five cases of sodomy against him, Zulfiqar was convicted under sections 377 (unnatural sex) and 292 (sale, distribution of obscene objects to young person) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on Thursday.

The court, however, acquitted him under section 506 punishment for criminal intimidation) of the IPC.

COMMOTION OUTSIDE COURTROOM

As soon as the sentence was announced, high drama was witnessed outside the courtroom when Zulfiqar claimed that he had been wronged.

He showed papers claiming that the birth certificates of the victims showed that they were not minors.

He also met the judge requesting him to file an application in the Supreme Court on how “there ought to be some other evidence allowed besides just oral evidence in such cases”.

With a breaking voice and trembling hands, he was unable to come to terms with the decision. His wife, who appeared to be angry, said, “It is sheer injustice as only one side has been heard.”

‘ONE LIE RUINED MY LIFE’

After the final arguments in the case, a rather confident Zulfiqar smiled as he walked out of the courtroom, saying, “Main zinda hoon’ (I’m alive). Putting his arm around his wife’s shoulder, Zulfiqar consoled her saying ‘Ek din sab salaam karenge mujhe’ (everyone will salute me one day).

Remorseless, he laughingly said to himself that how this had to happen only now in 22 years.

Talking to HT, he said, “Bura waqt hai, achha waqt aayega mera” (I am going through bad times. But there will be good days one day). ‘Ek jhooth mein zindagi tabah ho gayi hai” (one lie ruined my life).

BOTH SENTENCES TO RUN CONCURRENTLY

“Both the sentences shall run concurrently. The period for which the convict has remained in jail during the investigation or trial shall be set off against the substantive sentence,” the court the judgment read.

“..Moral turpitude has been committed with a child and it is to be dealt with firmly. The convict has made a number of children his victims. The only mitigating factor is that there was no case against the convict earlier. He is the earning member of his family and he has to support his family. His NGO has done a lot for the uplift of the children. Due to these reasons, he deserves a liberal view while passing the sentence,” the judgment said.

The UT police on March 25, 2015 had filed a chargesheet against him in the court. Four of the five victims, allegedly sodomised by Zulfiqar, had apprehended threat to their life by Zulfiqar’s aides. A list of 13 witnesses was attached with the chargesheet. As per the chargesheet, Khan had been exploiting the students of Theatre Age since 2002.