Official Secrets Act (OSA)

Delhi Waqf Board: AAP MLA Moves Delhi HC For Anticipatory Bail

Official Secrets Act (OSA)

Aam Aadmi Party, (AAP) MLA Amanat Ullah Khan approached Delhi High Court for a anticipatory bail in a money laundering case registered against him in connection with alleged irregularities by Delhi Waqf Board in the recruitment of staff and leasing of properties.

On Friday, the trial court denied him bail in Delhi Waqf Board Money Launderig case. He was earlier summoned by the ED in this case.

Senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy along with advocate Rajat Bhardwaj had argued on the bail application on behalf of Amanat Ullah Khan. It was argued by the Senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy that this case of Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered this ECIR after 8 years (7 years 7 months) of CBI’S FIR lodged in 2016.

It has been alleged that Rs. 100 crore Waqf Properties were given on lease illegally. It is also alleged that 32 contractual employees were appointed in Delhi Waqf Board during chairmanship of Amanat Ullah Khan flouting the rules.

Senior advocate argued that the CBI concluded in its charge sheet that leasing out properties was administrative irregularities. There were no proceeds of crime, no undue advantage and loss to government exchequer.

It was also argued that the amount is Rs. 100 crore as similar to the CBI case. They still have to prove a scheduled offence. He was granted bail in CBI case on March 2023, Guruswamy said.

It was also argued that Salaries were paid to the workers for the work done by those employees. No undue advantage by the applicant. No recovery effected from the applicant. It was also submitted that on 28 September 2022, the accused was granted bail in ACB FIR.

It was held in the order, 32 contractual employees were paid Rs. 3 crores salaries through banking channel. No employee repaid the salary to the applicant. It means there is no undue advantage.

“I don’t know how I am (Amanat) involved in this case of sale id property. Till date there is no recovery of any sort. Rs. 27 crore is a big amount. Where is this amount and how this proceeds of crime. I am not even accused in this case,” the counsel argued.

Senior advocate further argued that there is no scheduled offence, no proceeds of crime, therefore there is no money laundering. There is no proceed of crime, no undue advantage, no loss to exchequer, there is no money laundering

” You (ED) can not lodge a new FIR on receipt of any new information. You can not have two FIR for the same cause,” Guruswamy argued

Special public prosecutors (SPP) Manish Jain and Simon Benjamin alongwith Advocate Snehal Sharda appeared for ED.

SPP Manish Jain rebutted the submission made by the senior advocate for Amanat Ullah Khan. He submitted that this entire case banked upon the role of Amanat Ullah Khan.

“At the nucleus of the entire controversy is A K. His name appears 83 times in the bail dismissal order of three accused persons. Order speaks itself,” Jain argued. Money laundering is layering. It is deep rooted conspiracy, he added.

He further argued that the summons issued to the applicant was challenged before the High Court and Prosecution Complaint (Charge Sheet) was also annexed with the petition.

This charge sheet was given to other accused on January 19, after cognizance of the same taken by the court.

The petition was withdrawn as not pressed. No liberty was sought or granted. You are giving up your rights, the SPP submitted.

This fact has been was concealed in this bail application. This is called malicious concealment, Manish Jain submitted.

Senior advocate Guruswamy objected to the submissions of the SPP Manish Jain. We have concealed nothing. Prosecutor can’t use this kind of language. No accused gives up his right of bail. And I am not even accused in this case.

Thereafter the SPP Jain referred to bail orders of three accused.

He submitted that Misappropriated worth Rs.100 crore property. ACB is investigating. Zeeshan and Daud Nasir acted on behest of applicant in connivance with Javed Imam Siddiqui and Qausar Imam Siddiqui, he added.

He again reiterated that at the nucleus of the case is Amanat Ullah Khan. There were 22 cases registered against him

He was declared bad character (BC) of the area and a history sheet was opened. It was challenged before the Delhi high court. The plea was dismissed. Special Leave Petition (SLP) is pending before the Supreme court.

Concluding his arguements Jain said that rigourous provision of twin conditions under section 45 of PMLA applies to the applicant. There is a flight risk. There is great apprehension of influencing the witnesses.

Recently the court has also dismissed the bail application of three arrested accused namely Zeeshan Haider, Daud Nasir and Jawed Imam Siddiqui. Fourth arrested Qausar Imam Siddiqui has not moved bail yet. (ANI)

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