Amanantullah in court
New Delhi: A city court on Wednesday sent Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Amanatullah Khan to five days custodial interrogation of the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) in connection to alleged irregularities, including financial misappropriation, at the Delhi Waqf Board
New Delhi: A city court on Wednesday sent Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Amanatullah Khan to five days custodial interrogation of the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) in connection to alleged irregularities, including financial misappropriation, at the Delhi Waqf Board.
Khan was produced before special judge Vikas Dhull at the end of his four-day remand of the ACB on Wednesday.
The investigating agency sought further 10 days custody to interrogate the legislator, who was arrested late on Friday, and argued that Khan was unwell and spent two days for treatment after complaining of chest pain.
Additional public prosecutor (APP) Atul Shrivastava, for the ACB, claimed that the alleged proceeds of crime have been transferred to Dubai. He also said that Khan needs to be interrogated with co-accused Laddan, who was arrested by the agency from Telangana on Wednesday.
“There is an entry of ₹2 lakh to Amanat bhai… a certain amount has also gone to Dubai also,” the prosecutor claimed, adding that ACB was also looking into a private company, Cosmos developers, which had purchased a property in Uttarakhand.
However, this claim was strongly opposed by Khan’s counsel senior advocate Rahul Mehra, saying that the agency has not produced any document or evidence to prove that the money has been transferred to Dubai.
“You said Dubai and left it there. There is only one person from Dubai that we all know. You must at least tell the court. This is so strange. Yesterday, you said Telangana and now you say Dubai. I am being prejudiced,” Mehra said.
The prosecutor added that Khan’s custody is required to confront him with several people who had received money and whose names were mentioned in a diary that was recovered from the Jamia Nagar residence of Laddan on Friday.
The diary, according to the ACB, purportedly contained entries of money transactions and cash allegedly given at the behest of Khan.
Opposing the remand and seeking that Khan be sent to judicial custody, Mehra said that ACB has not produced any new evidence, which was not there last time. He said that all the people, whom the agency claims received the money, “are ghosts and there is no sign of them”.
Countering the prosecution’s submission that Laddan was known to Khan, and has photographs with him on several occasions such as Eid, iftar, etc, Mehra said that it is common during festivities for the political leaders to meet the people of their constituency.
“If this is taken against him and the people meeting the legislator become the fund managers, then there would be thousands of fund managers of the political leaders across the country,” Mehra argued, and added that there have been cases of people who “pose for pictures and videos with high dignitaries and then flee the country”.
Seeking to know the link between Laddan and Khan, Mehra asked whether the ACB was able to show any transaction between them. He further informed the court that another co-accused Hamid Ali, who was arrested last week, has been granted bail by a city court.
On Khan’s medical condition, Mehra told the court that before he was arrested, the legislator had been seeking treatment for a medical condition and was advised to stay away from “stressful situations”.
As Mehra started posing several queries, the investigating officer of the ACB said that Khan was single-handedly running the show at the Delhi Waqf Board. The officer added that “crucial documents” he wanted from the board were not given to the agency.
On Friday, the ACB had arrested Khan after conducting raids at Zakir Nagar, Batla House and Jamia Nagar during which it recovered around ₹24 lakh in cash and two unlicenced weapons, along with ammunition of different calibers.