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Delhi Waqf Board case: Court grants ED time to respond to AAP MLA's anticipatory bail plea

20 Feb, 2024 21:45 IST|Sakshi Post

New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) A Delhi court on Tuesday provided the Enforcement Directorate (ED) additional time to file a reply regarding AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan's anticipatory bail plea in the Delhi Waqf Board money laundering case.

Special Judge Rakesh Syal of Rouse Avenue court had on Monday issued notice to the ED. The judge has now scheduled the matter for further hearing on February 24, without granting interim relief to Khan who had been summoned by the ED on Monday.

Special Public Prosecutor Manish Jain and Simon Benjamin, representing the ED, requested a week's extension to prepare their response, citing the recent receipt of the bail application.

They said that Khan had previously approached the Delhi High Court against the summons, which was later withdrawn, alleging concealment of this fact in his current plea.

In response, advocate Rajat Bhardwaj, representing Khan, opposed the extension and urged the court to adjourn the matter to either Wednesday or Friday.

He expressed concerns about the ED's efforts to render the application infructuous, stressing the issuance of three summonses and requesting protection until the next hearing.

Following deliberation, the court decided to postpone the hearing to Saturday, prompting an objection from Jain regarding an oral statement made by Khan's counsel implying bias in favour of the ED.

The court intervened, instructing counsel to refrain from making such remarks.

Senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy, representing Khan, had on Monday argued and requested interim protection, but the court declined to grant the relief.

Guruswamy had pointed out that Khan had been summoned in connection with a money laundering case. She had contested the issue of two FIRs being filed regarding the same case, with the first FIR dated November 23, 2016, filed by the CBI. The allegation was related to Khan's alleged wrongful appointment as chairman of the Delhi Waqf Board.

She had cited the principle of criminal law that prohibits two FIRs for one cause, noting that the second FIR was based on the same allegations as the first, despite the closure of the matter by the agency, terming it as administrative irregularities.

She had also noted out that previous bail orders in both cases concluded that there was no loss to the exchequer, as there was no evidence of bribery or recovery of proceeds of crime.

Recently, Khan withdrew from the Delhi HC his plea challenging the summons issued by the ED after it gave him no relief. He had challenged the constitutional validity of Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and has also sought a directive to quash the cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) and the ED.

Special Judge Syal had recently taken cognisance of an ED charge sheet filed in the case. The ED had filed the charge sheet against Zeeshan Haider, his partnership firm Skypower, Javed Imam Siddiqui, Dawood Nasir, and Qausar Imam Siddiqui. The case pertains to a property worth Rs 36 crore in Okhla being allegedly acquired with illicit funds, purportedly influenced by Khan, who reportedly handed over Rs 8 crore in cash.

During the investigation, the ED considered FIRs filed earlier by the CBI, ACB, and the Delhi Police.

The court was informed that an agreement to sell off Rs 36 crore, recovered from the accused's mobile, was manipulated, indicating tampering with evidence. The ED said that the property was bought at Khan's behest, and presented with evidence of Rs 27 crore cash transaction.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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