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Judiciary

SC declines pre-arrest bail to AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan

By Jhanak Singh      15 April, 2024 07:59 PM      0 Comments
SC declines pre arrest bail to AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Monday declined to consider a plea for anticipatory bail by Delhi's AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan in a money laundering case in connection with the alleged irregularities in the Delhi Waqf Board during his chairmanship.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta asked Khan to appear before the Enforcement Directorate at 11 am on April 18 in the case.

The bench, however, made it clear that it should not be taken for granted that if he appears, he will be arrested.

The bench said that there were some observations made in March 11 judgment of the Delhi High Court and "interpretation of Section 50 of the PMLA and some observations on merit. We clarify that the observations in the impugned judgment would not be treated as observations in the case”.

After hearing counsel for Khan and the ED, the bench told Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, “Let him appear. You can arrest him in case there is material, if there is no material do not arrest him, you have to follow the procedure under section 19 (PMLA).”

During the hearing, the bench also observed that Khan should have responded to the ED summons. The counsel, representing Khan, assured the court that his client will join the probe on April 18.

The court also clarified that the observations made in the high court judgment should not be treated as findings on merit relating to the evidence and material relied upon by the respondent.

Khan, Okhla MLA was aggrieved with the high court's order, which refused his plea against the trial court turning down anticipatory bail on March 1.

He was not named as an accused in the charge sheet that the ED filed recently.

The agency has named five people in its prosecution complaint (the ED’s equivalent of a charge sheet) including three alleged associates of Khan, Zeeshan Haider, Daud Nasir, and Jawed Imam Siddiqui.

The ED had said that searches were conducted in the case related to illegal recruitment of staff and alleged illegitimate personal gains made by the accused by way of unfairly leasing Waqf Board properties during 2018-2022 when Khan was its chairperson.

The ED has claimed that several “incriminating” materials in the form of physical and digital evidence were seized during the raids, indicating Khan’s involvement in a money laundering offense.
 



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