A special anti-corruption court has ordered compensation of Rs 50,000 each to 50 students who were denied admission in professional colleges due to the Common Entrance Test (CET) scam that hit Jammu and Kashmir in 2012. The compensation to 50 students was given as per the merit list. The compensation was awarded by Special Judge Anti-corrpution Yash Paul Bourney in his 382-page judgement in the CET 2012 scam case delivered last week. The kingpin of the scam, then Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Board of Professional Entrance Examinations (BOPEE) Mushtaq Ahmad Peer was sentenced to 16 years rigorous imprisonment while 49 others were also convicted for offences under various acts.
The accused were slapped with varying amounts of fine with Peer directed to pay Rs one crore. “Out of the fine amount so realized, each of the candidates whose score was more than 90% in the academic side in the qualifying examination and had appeared in the CET 2012 and was within the next 50 candidates in the order of merit from the cut off point, shall be paid Rs 50,000 each as token compensation,” the court ordered. Commenting on the beneficiary students of the scam and their parents, the court said these parents in their eagerness to see their wards in coveted course have used their money power for grabbing illegally berths which otherwise would have gone to meritorious students whosoever deserved the most.
“However, as of now they have not only failed in their nefarious mission and lost the money which they paid but also have lost the berths illegally grabbed by their wards,” the judge said while sentencing the parents to rigorous imprisonment of three years and fine of Rs five lakh each. It is pertinent to mention here that some of these 19 parents had paid amounts ranging between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 23 lakh to get the papers from Peer, through brokers, for securing admissions in MBBS course. The court had a word of sympathy for 11 beneficiary students of the scam, saying they had just completed their teens and attained the age of majority. “Most of them have fallen prey to the sinister designs of their over-ambitious parents/guardians who, instead of leading to the righteous path during their impressionable years of life, have pushed them to the situation wherein they have landed today.
“But, these students have also not spared a thought for their meritorious brethren who deserved these berths on account of their superior merit. In the process, they have not only been turned out but have also lost precious years of their careers besides being stigmatized forever,” the court observed. In these circumstances, the court said they deserve special leniency. “They are accordingly sentenced to simple imprisonment of one year”.