Hawala case: ED seeks non-bailable warrant against Kashmiri separatist Shah
In the last two years, the ED summoned Shah on eight occasions, but the separatist leader evaded questioning.india Updated: Jun 22, 2017 13:06 IST
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has moved an application in a Delhi court to seek a non-bailable warrant for the arrest of Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah in connection with a decade-old Hawala case.
Officials said in the last two years, the ED had summoned Shah on eight occasions, but the separatist leader had evaded questioning without offering a reason for his absence.
Official sources added that after Shah was summoned for the seventh time earlier this month, he communicated with the directorate through an advocate who told ED that the separatist leader had not been able to present himself because he has been under “house arrest” since two years.
Speaking to HT over phone, Shah called the case against him politically motivated.
“We have recently written to the ED that I am under house arrest for three years and have not been able to meet them in Delhi. Even as we talk, officials of the police force have barricaded my home in Rajbagh,” Shah said.
In March, Shah has submitted his resignation from the post of general secretary of Hurriyat (G) faction.
At the time of his resignation, Shah had said there was no point in holding charge of the post as he had been under house arrest for over three years.
A senior ED official, however, said the reason offered by Shah is invalid as the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 1973, does not consist of provision for house arrest.
The official said ED decided not to issue any more summons to Shah according to the norms. The application to seek an NBW was moved on June 9.
“The CPC act does not have any provision for house arrest. We still went ahead and tried to find out whether there was any substance in his claims, which we found out to be incorrect,” the ED official said.
A Delhi court will now hear ED’s application on June 22, official sources told HT. ED had asked Shah to be present at its offices on June 6.
The move comes amid a major crackdown on Valley-based separatists whose homes and offices were raided by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) earlier this month on allegations that they were receiving funds from Pakistan to conduct “subversive activities” in Kashmir.
The ED case, however, goes back to 2005 when Aslam Wani was arrested by the special cell of Delhi Police.
The cops had claimed that Wani was arrested along with Rs63 lakh out of which Rs50 lakh were to be delivered to Shah, the leader of Democratic Freedom Party.