Stone pelting case against Gulzar Peer: Court reserves matter for order

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 3/14/2017 12:19:32 PM

SRINAGAR, Mar 13: After hearing arguments from both the sides in a bail plea of Gulzar Ahmad Bhat alias Gulzar Peer seeking acquittal in a stone pelting case, a city court has reserved the matter for orders till March 15.
Earlier, Peer was accused by four girls of raping them, at his institute in Shamsabad village in December 2012. The high court came down heavily on the J&K police for “miserably” failing to prove the case.
In the instant case of stone pelting, Peer’s counsel Mushtaq Ahmad Dar applied for the bail of his client in a case registered by Khan Sahib police station under FIR number 15/2015 dated February 15, 2015 in which police has accused Peer of being involved in stone pelting in Khan Saheb.
Pertinently, a division bench of Jammu wing of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court acquitted, Peer, who was held on charges of raping girl students at his seminary in central Kashmir’s Budgam district in 2012.
The bench consisted of Justice Janak Raj Kotwal and Justice B.S Walia after hearing both the side including Peer’s counsel P N Raina acquitted the accused from all charges.
The judgment came on February 23, 2017. The court in its 63 page judgment has said that the acquittal rendered by the trial court does not call for any interference by the high court and this appeal (against the acquittal of Peer by the state government) is therefore dismissed as without any merit.
In 2015, the state government had filed an appeal in the High Court after massive public pressure against his acquittal by the Principal Sessions court in Budgam.
Thereafter, Kashmir Bar Association decided to boycott Peer and his case was transferred to Jammu.
The court pointed out that the reason for delay in filing of FIR and failure to prove the seizure of evidence from Gulzar’s home turned “lethal” for the case.
Police had listed 13 people as accused in the case and 18 prosecution witnesses were identified of whom all but one were examined.
42-year-old Peer was arrested on May 21, 2013 after four minor girl students of his seminary accused him of committing the abuses at the residential institute at Shamasabad in Khansahib area of the district.
After a trial of over 19 months, on February 12, 2015 Syed Tawqeer Hussain, the Principal District and Session’s Judge Budgam passed a 158 pages judgment concluding that the prosecution has miserably failed to prove the guilt of the accused in the matter.
Besides Peer, the Court had acquitted three more girls who were accused for being accomplices of Pir. During the course of trial, all the accused in the matter were represented by senior lawyer Mushtaq Ahmad Dar.
“What emerges from the entire discussion is clear that there has been an inordinate delay in lodging the FIR with the police concerned and the said delay has not been explained by the prosecution…The seizure memo has not been proved as all the three witnesses cited by the prosecution on the seizure memo have turned hostile and in the cross examination have denied that anything was seized in their presence,” the trial court had said in its judgment.



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