Money Laundering Case: Delhi Court Dismisses Amanatullah Khan’s Anticipatory Bail Plea

Amanatullah Khan

Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court has dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Amanatullah Khan in the Delhi Waqf Board money laundering case.

The case revolves around the alleged purchase of a property worth Rs 36 crore in the Okhla area purportedly at the direction of Amanatullah Khan, who is a sitting AAP MLA from the same locality.

Amanatullah Khan had approached the court seeking anticipatory bail after being summoned by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED). The bail application of three other accused—Zeeshan Haider, Daud Nasir, and Jawed Imam Siddiqui—had previously been dismissed by the court. A chargesheet has already been filed against the accused individuals, including Qausar Imam Siddiqui.

Special judge Rakesh Syal dismissed the bail application after considering arguments presented by counsels for the ED and the AAP lawmaker. Earlier, on February 24, the court had reserved the order on the plea. Senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy, along with advocate Rajat Bhardwaj, represented Amanatullah Khan in the bail application proceedings.

During the arguments, senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy emphasized that the ED registered the ECIR after a considerable delay of 8 years (7 years 7 months) following the CBI’s FIR registration in 2016. She contended that the CBI’s chargesheet concluded the leasing out of properties as administrative irregularities, without any indication of proceeds of crime or undue advantage causing loss to the government exchequer.

Guruswamy highlighted that her client had been granted bail in the CBI case in March 2023. She argued that salaries were legitimately paid to contractual employees for their work and there was no evidence of undue advantage gained by her client.

Furthermore, Guruswamy pointed out that her client had been granted bail in an ACB FIR in September 2022. She questioned the involvement of her client in the property sale case, asserting that no recovery had been made thus far.

In response, special public prosecutors Manish Jain and Simon Benjamin, along with Advocate Snehal Sharda, appeared for the ED. Jain emphasized the central role of Amanatullah Khan in the case, highlighting his multiple mentions in the bail dismissal order of other accused individuals.

Jain argued that Amanatullah Khan was at the core of the controversy, as evidenced by his frequent mention in the case documents. He further pointed out that the summons issued to Amanatullah Khan had been challenged before the high court, and the prosecution complaint had been annexed with the petition.

Jain contended that there was a substantial risk of flight and potential influence on witnesses, given the gravity of the allegations and Amanatullah Khan’s position as a sitting MLA. He stressed that money laundering is considered a standalone offense, implying its seriousness.

Guruswamy, however, objected to Jain’s submissions, asserting that her client had not concealed any information and questioned the necessity of denying bail based on previous cases unrelated to the current matter.

In conclusion, the arguments from both sides highlighted the complexity of the case and the divergent perspectives regarding Amanatullah Khan’s involvement and the nature of the alleged offenses.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte