Dr Zakir Naik’s counsel in the city submitted a letter to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday, requesting officials to send the televangelist a list of questions.
“My client is a non-resident Indian (NRI) and is currently abroad. It has already been placed on record that he has not been served with any summons till date, in the manner contemplated under the law,” read the letter submitted by Mahesh Mule and associates, who are representing Naik.
“We request that a detailed questionnaire and a list of documents that the department needs to facilitate investigations be submitted to him via email so he can respond to the best of his ability,” reads the letter, which includes Naik’s email address
Naik stated that he would submit all the documents in his possession as well as a written statement to the department.
“Our apprehensions regarding the probe stood fortified with the arrest of Mr Aamir Gazdar. We are afraid our client will meet with the same fate if he makes an appearance. The fact that Gazdar was arrested despite him submitting all his documents to the National Investigating Agency (NIA) leaves much to be desired,” adds the letter.
ED sources said Naik’s confidante, Gazdar, is a 10% shareholder in Longlast Construction — the firm used to buy properties in the country. Naik’s sister Nailah Noorani owns 90% of the firm’s shares. She, along with Naik’s brother Mohammed have been summoned by the agency.
Earlier, Naik offered law enforcement agencies the option to question him through email or similar means, which the ED rejected. The central agency — which has registered a money-laundering case against him— said it rejected the idea so as not to set a precedent. “This is not done according to investigative procedures,” said ED sources.
Officials said industrialist Vijay Mallya had made a similar offer, which they also rejected.