The sex scandal that rocked Jammu and Kashmir last year took a new turn on Monday, when the state High Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to place all records related to the eight accused before the chief judicial magistrate for judicial action. The accused include one senior minister, two MLAs and several senior police officials.
The high court's order has caused ripples in the state's political, administrative and social circles.
In its 210-page direction, the division bench of the state High Court, comprising Justice Bashir Ahmad Kirmani and Justice Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain, said, "Magisterial proceedings for consideration of taking cognisance of offences under penal laws in appropriate cases is required to be ordered".
It was alleged in 2006 that many high-profile politicians, bureaucrats, police and paramilitary officers were involved in the sex racket.
The division bench also directed the CBI to conduct, 'speedy and focused investigation' in cases relating to former Jammu and Kashmir bank chairman Mohammad Yusuf Khan, director general of police (prisons) Jammu and
Kashmir Rajinder Tickoo and Zahoor Ahmad Malik, whose names had also figured in the CBI case diaries.
The division bench, while ordering fresh investigations about three persons named by Sabena, the king pin of the sex racket, also asked the agency to again interrogate some of the accused.
The state director general of police has been directed to constitute a team comprising police officers and headed by a DIG to probe cases of illicit sex trade and drug trafficking in the Valley.
The DGP has also been ordered to provide security to persons whose names have appeared in Monday's court order. The court also ordered that rehabilitation efforts be undertaken for those girls who were involved in the sex racket.