Delhi Waqf Board money laundering case: Delhi HC allows AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan’s associate to be released on interim bail, asks him to file fresh documents regarding date of his wife’s spinal surgery
Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma [13-05-2024]




Tulip Kanth


New Delhi, May 14, 2024: In a recent development in the Delhi Waqf Board money laundering case, the Delhi High Court has allowed the plea of AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan’s associate Daud Nasir to be released on interim bail owing to his wife’s spinal surgery on the condition that he files fresh documents regarding the date of surgery. The High Court passed this judgment purely on humanitarian grounds.


The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma was considering an application under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 filed on behalf of the petitioner, seeking grant of interim bail in a case registered  under Sections 3/4 of The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).


It was the case of the applicant that he has been in judicial custody since 11.11.2023 in relation to the present ECIR. It was argued that his wife had met with an accident and had fallen from the stairs, due to which she has suffered from slip disc, and was advised surgery for decompression and fixation of slip disc. It was stated that there are no other family members to take care of his wife, during her impending surgery. The applicant and his wife also have the responsibility of taking care of their one-year-old child, which is not possible without the presence of the applicant since his wife


On the other hand, it was the case of the ED that the applicant had made deliberate and wilful false averments with regard to there being no other family member to look after his wife, whereas, the fact was that the applicant lives in a joint family comprising of his parents and four brothers and some other family members. It was submitted before the Court that along with co-accused Jawed Imam Siddiqui and Zeeshan Haider, was arrested under Section 19 of PMLA for active involvement in the offence of money laundering, after which all of them have been in judicial custody since 17.11.2023.


The ECIR in this case was recorded against one Amanatullah Khan and other accused persons on the basis of an FIR under Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Section 120-B of Indian Penal Code. It was stated that in the said FIR, various allegations were levelled against Amantullah Khan, the then Chairman of Delhi Waqf Board and other accused persons. It was alleged that Amanatullah Khan, while working as Chairman of Delhi Waqf Board, had entered into a criminal conspiracy with other accused persons and had appointed various persons illegally in Delhi Waqf Board which caused financial loss to the exchequer of Delhi Government and illegal gain to Amantullah Khan and other accused persons. The role of present accused/applicant of being involved in the money laundering activities had come into light from the transactions mentioned in the diaries so seized from the possession of one Kausar Imam Siddiqui, who is a close associate of Amanatullah Khan.


The seized diaries had revealed suspicious cash transactions running into crores of rupees in the name of the applicant including other co-accused and Amanatullah Khan. These transactions prima facie indicated that the applicant and co-accused were involved in laundering the proceeds of crime so acquired by Amanatullah Khan. It was further argued that the applicant is a key person in laundering proceeds of crime and he had not cooperated during custodial interrogation. 


On a perusal of the Status Report, the Bench opined that the applicant herein is living in a joint family in the same building.


The High Court was of the opinion that though it is not disputed that the applicant herein has other family members to take care of his wife, she may however need the emotional and financial support of her husband, i.e. the applicant herein, when she undergoes the surgery of spine. It was also noted that the applicant also has a one-year-old child, whose needs are to be looked after, when his wife undergoes surgery.


“In these circumstances, without going into the merits of the case, but purely on humanitarian ground, this Court is of the opinion that the applicant can be released on interim bail to attend to his wife and his child”, the Bench said.


Considering the fact that the date of surgery has not yet been fixed and no fresh documents in this regard have been filed by the applicant, the Bench directed that subject to the applicant filing fresh documents regarding any date of surgery being fixed by the concerned Doctor, the applicant may move an appropriate application before the Trial Court. The Bench also directed that after due verification of those documents, the applicant would be released on interim bail by the Trial Court for a period of 15 days, at least two days prior to the date of surgery of his wife on the condition that the applicant furnishes a personal bond in the sum of Rs 25,000 with one surety. 

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