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Delhi Waqf Board case: SC denies anticipatory bail to Amanatullah Khan

New Delhi, April 15 2024-

In a major setback to AAP legislator Amanatullah Khan, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain his plea seeking anticipatory bail in connection with the Delhi Waqf Board money laundering case.

A bench, headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna, remarked that it was not inclined to issue notice to the federal anti-money laundering agency in the matter.

The bench, also comprising Justice Dipankar Datta, observed that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) may arrest him if there exists any material in terms of Section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Further, it said that the special court will not issue non-bailable warrants against Khan if he appears before the probe agency on April 18.

The ED had moved the Rouse Avenue Court against Khan for non-compliance with its summons alleging that Khan, previously a witness, later became an accused in the case and is evading investigation.

Earlier, Delhi High Court’s Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma dismissed Khan’s anticipatory plea, citing his failure to cooperate with the probe conducted by the ED. Repeatedly ignoring summons issued by the agency amounts to obstruction of justice and erodes public trust in the criminal justice system, the High Court said, stressing the obligation of public figures, like Khan, to assist investigative agencies in uncovering the truth behind allegations levelled against them.

The allegation relates to Khan’s alleged wrongful appointment as Chairman of the Delhi Waqf Board.

The ED had filed the charge sheet against Zeeshan Haider, his partnership firm Skypower, Javed Imam Siddiqui, Dawood Nasir, and Qausar Imam Siddiqui in the case. 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 ED said that the property was bought at Khan’s behest, and presented with evidence of Rs 27 crore cash transaction. (Agency)

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