Delhi Waqf Board Money-Laundering case: Court directs ED to respond to AAP MLA’s bail plea

A court here directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday to file its reply by February 24 on an application moved by AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan, seeking anticipatory bail in a money-laundering case related to alleged irregularities at the Delhi Waqf Board in hiring staff and leasing out assets during his chairmanship.

Special Judge Rakesh Syal granted time to the ED after the federal agency said it wants to file a detailed reply to Khan’s application that has said the MLA anticipates being arrested by the ED in the case.

The court, however, did not grant Khan any protection from arrest during the pendency of the application.

The court will now hear the matter on February 24.

Khan, the Okhla MLA of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), was not named as an accused in a recent chargesheet filed by the ED.

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

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The agency had, after conducting raids on premises linked to Khan and some others in October last year, claimed that the AAP MLA had acquired “huge proceeds of crime” in cash through illegal recruitment of staff to the Delhi Waqf Board and invested those for purchasing immovable assets in the name of his associates.

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

The money-laundering case stems from an FIR lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and three Delhi Police complaints.

The ED has alleged that Khan “acquired huge proceeds of crime out of the said criminal activities in cash and this cash amount was invested in the purchase of various immovable properties in Delhi in the name of his associates”.

Several “incriminating” material in the form of physical and digital evidence were seized during the raids, indicating Khan’s involvement in the offence of money laundering, the agency has said.

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