Explained: What is the case against AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan? | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Explained: What is the case against AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan?

Sep 19, 2022 07:20 PM IST

HT has accessed the case papers, which document how the alleged scam started from an advertisement made by the DWB in a local newspaper on hiring to a property scam worth at least ₹100 crore.

New Delhi: On Friday evening, when Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Amanatullah Khan was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), it was the fourth time in the past five years that Khan finds himself behind bars. In the past, he was arrested by the Delhi Police for criminal charges, but this is the first time that the ACB has arrested him for corruption at the Delhi Waqf Board (DWB).

Khan has in the past accused the police and the ACB of targeting him because he is from a rival party — the Delhi police are under the Union home ministry's jurisdiction — and denied allegations of irregularities during the hiring. (PTI) PREMIUM
Khan has in the past accused the police and the ACB of targeting him because he is from a rival party — the Delhi police are under the Union home ministry's jurisdiction — and denied allegations of irregularities during the hiring. (PTI)

HT has accessed the case papers, which document how the alleged scam started from an advertisement made by the DWB in a local newspaper three years ago.

The whistleblower in the case is a Delhi resident who runs a non-governmental organisation (NGO). It was on his complaint and the internal documents he submitted that the ACB filed a first information report (FIR) on January 28, 2020.

What was the alleged scam?

On February 26, 2019, an advertisement was placed in the Daily Inquilab newspaper about walk-in interviews for different posts at the DWB on March 1, 2019, at 10 am. According to the FIR, when the advertisement was published, the then Waqf chief executive officer (CEO), Mohammed Abid, opposed the move, saying Khan could not recruit people directly without the approval of the revenue secretary or the minister-in-charge. Khan was also informed that in the past, when he had recruited 38 persons directly in 2015, the then lieutenant governor (LG) Najeeb Jung had dissolved the DWB on October 7, 2016. But Khan went ahead and allegedly recruited at least 33 persons. At least four of them were his relatives.

The recruits who are under probe

Between January 28, 2020 (FIR registered) and September 16, 2022 (Khan's arrest), the probe has found that at least four recruits — Mohammed Bilal Khan, Hidayatullah Khan, Masiullah Khan and Kaleem Ahmed Khan — were related to the AAP MLA. The ACB described them as Khan’s “blood relatives” who got jobs based solely on the walk-in interviews, in alleged violation of the protocol.

The appointment of one Firoz Khan is also being probed. Investigators describe Firoz as a political party worker from Khan's constituency, Okhla. Firoz, who earned 25,000 at a private company, was appointed as Khan’s personal assistant. His salary almost doubled to 44,000. “He(Firoz) is not only getting 44,000 as salary from the DWB but has also been nominated by the Delhi government as a governing body member (GBM) of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh College,” reads a file noting by ACB.

Allegation of misusing Waqf properties

Another allegation against Khan is that he opened bank accounts for the DWB without approval and withdrew money from them. The FIR notes that Khan — as Okhla MLA — bought a fogging machine for 7 lakh and tents worth 25 lakh for people in his constituency. But the money was paid from the DWB's account. The complainant has alleged that the value of the tent was not more than 4 lakh, which was lying unused at a mosque in Okhla.

The ACB seized an internal letter from the then DWB CEO, who accused Khan of renting out Waqf properties illegally. Of the 27 tenancy cases (properties) only 13 properties pertained to bids through an advertisement, which is the normal legal process. Kahn allegedly gave out eight properties on rent without following the due process. “…the possession of these properties had reportedly already been handed to the parties without even a proper rent agreement. A detailed model for rent agreement, which protects the interests of the board, is with the Waqf but this was not followed,” reads the then CEO’s file noting against Khan.

The net worth of these properties, according to the CEO’s submission, is at least 100 crore.

Funds diverted

The FIR claims that Khan did not release funds which were meant as compensation for widows' welfare, but diverted the money to the people he recruited illegally. Also, on April 8, 2019, Khan and a section offer issued a notification about opening a bank account. The money from the account was allegedly withdrawn by Khan without approval from the CEO. “No tender was called for the renovation works worth 5 lakh for the chairperson’s office,” said the FIR.

The FIR also mentions an office memorandum by former CEO Abid, who alleged that properties worth hundreds of crores had been misappropriated by Khan and section officer Mehfooz Mohammed. The latter, according to the memorandum, was only a telephone operator who had been promoted by Khan — again in violation of the rules. The CEO pointed out that many senior officials in the Waqf were superseded when Khan promoted Mohammed.

Khan's defence

Khan has in the past accused the police and the ACB of targeting him because he is from a rival party — the Delhi police are under the Union home ministry's jurisdiction — and denied allegations of irregularities during the hiring. Khan has once again made the same defence, claiming that the Delhi Police continues to file false criminal cases against him — none of which have passed the court’s muster.

So far, 23 cases have been filed against Khan by the Delhi Police, ACB and the Central Bureau of Investigation. He has not been convicted to date. In at least nine cases, he was discharged, and one FIR was quashed by the court. In three cases, a compromise was reached between him and the complainant. The other cases are under investigation or under trial.

Get World Cup ready with Crickit! From live scores to match stats, catch all the action here. Explore now!

Stay updated with all top Cities including, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and more across India. Stay informed on the latest happenings in World News

Continue reading with HT Premium Subscription

Daily E Paper I Premium Articles I Brunch E Magazine I Daily Infographics
freemium
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On