Delhi Waqf Board Case: HC Denies Bail to Two Accused

Delhi Waqf Board

The Delhi High Court has denied bail to two individuals arrested in a money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in Delhi Waqf Board recruitment, which also involves AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan.

A single bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma dismissed the bail pleas of Zeeshan Haider and Daud Nasir, citing sufficient material to invoke the bar on granting bail under the anti-money laundering law. Both accused were arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in November 2023.

The judge noted that Amanatullah Khan, as alleged, purchased immovable properties through “benamidars” Haider and Nasir by undervaluing them and concealing amounts paid in cash to the seller.

“The material evidence gathered during the investigation by the Directorate of Enforcement reveals that Amanatullah Khan, along with his close associates, including the present applicants/accused and others, had conspired to invest his ill-gotten money, i.e., proceeds of crime, in immovable properties through his associates Zeeshan Haider, Daud Nasir, and others,” the court stated.

The court highlighted that the transactions related to the property purchases, both in cash and through banking channels, amounted to approximately Rs 36 crore.

“Thus, the material presented to this Court at this stage is sufficient to attract the bar under Section 45 of PMLA on both applicants. Considering these facts and circumstances, this Court does not find it a fit case for granting regular bail to the present applicants, Zeeshan Haider and Daud Nasir,” concluded the court.

Background of the Case

The money laundering case against Khan originates from a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR and three Delhi Police complaints. The agency has named five individuals in its prosecution complaint (the ED’s equivalent of a charge sheet), including three alleged associates of Khan—Zeeshan Haider, Daud Nasir, and Jawed Imam Siddiqui.

The ED, which previously conducted raids on the legislator’s premises, claims that Khan acquired “huge proceeds of crime” in cash through illegal recruitment of staff in the Delhi Waqf Board and invested these proceeds in immovable assets under his associates’ names.

The searches were related to illegal recruitment of staff and improper personal gains made by the accused through unfair leasing of Waqf Board properties during 2018-2022 when Khan was its chairperson. The ED has reported the seizure of several “incriminating” physical and digital materials during the raids, indicating Khan’s involvement in money laundering.

In March, the high court had denied anticipatory bail to the AAP MLA, criticizing the repeated evasion of summons by public figures.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte