Waqf Board Case: Order On Bail For Amanat Ullah Khan Reserved
A Delhi Court on Tuesday reserved the order on the bail plea of Aam Admi Party (AAP) MLA Amanat Ullah Khan after hearing the arguments of the counsel accused and Prosecution.
The AAP MLA was arrested in a case related to alleged irregularities in appointments in Delhi Waqf Board during his chairmanship.
On Monday the court sent AAP MLA Amanat Ullah Khan to judicial custody remand after the police custody remand.
Another accused Kausar Imran Siddiqui alias Laddan was produced on a production warrant before the court. He was interrogated and thereafter arrested with the permission of the court. He was in judicial custody in another case lodged at Jamia Nagar police station.
The court granted two days of custody of Laddan for interrogation.
Special CBI Judge Vikas Dhull reserved the order on the bail plea of Amanat Ullah Khan after hearing the arguments of both sides.
Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, while arguing on behalf of Amanat Ullah Khan, submitted that there is evidence to show that there was any violation of rules and regulations in appointing the contractual employees of the board when as such no rules are in place.
Rahul Mehra further argued that each and every decision was taken by the board collectively, but Amanat Ullah Khan has been made the only accused in this case.
The senior advocate also submitted that there is no rule which bars the recruitment of persons of a constituency, area or family if they are otherwise qualified.
He also said that the recruitment was done through a walk-in interview and an advertisement was also published in the newspaper.
It was also argued that there was no violation of rules and regulations or demand and acceptance of any bribes or money. There is no material to show that the illegal money was recovered from the accused which is reflected in the diary recovered from Laddan’s house.
Therefore the sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act are not made out, the counsel for the accused submitted.
The senior advocate said that there was a bidding process for renting out the shops of the board. Everything is on paper. There is nothing to show that there was any criminality.
He also submitted that another case related to the appointment was registered by the CBI in 2016 against the accused but his not arrested as the premier agency is not bloodthirsty, unlike other agencies.
There were 25 cases against the accused, out of which in 20 cases he has been acquitted, discharged or the cases have been compromised. Five cases are still pending out of which one is of the CBI in which a charge sheet has been filed but the accused was not arrested.
In the present case, the accused has been arrested even after 2 years of investigation. Despite this the Prosecution has nothing against the accused even after 10 days of custody, Mehra argued.
While opposing the bail plea additional public prosecutor (APP) Atul Shrivastava submitted that there is evidence against the accused and he is a very influential person. He may influence the witnesses in this case.
APP submitted that there were Irregularities in the appointment. These appointments were made in violation of rules and his own people were employed.
He also submitted that the funds of Rs. 3.2 crores meant for widows’ help were paid as employees’ salaries. Thus, there was a misappropriation of funds.
AAP argued that there was an alleged demand of Rs.10 lakh from a successful bidder for renting a shop. When he refused to pay the bribe he was allegedly forced to withdraw the bid.
He also referred to a screenshot of a mobile in connection with the alleged payment of Rs.1 Lakh which was part alleged gratification of Rs. 7 lakh allegedly paid a person to the associates of Amant Ullah.
The APP also said that the accused was not cooperating in the investigation. He did not disclose his phone correctly. AAP MLA allegedly said his phone was lost on the day of arrest. The AAP showed a video on the mobile in which the accused was handed over to someone.
It was also alleged that the accused misused his official position as chairman of the board by appointing his own people, even his blood relatives. This section of Corruption is made out against him.
It was alleged that the successful bidder was forced to withdraw his bid for the rent of a property.
The court asked to show the tenancy document for the loss if any. The Prosecution could not satisfy the query satisfactorily. The court also asked where is the loss to the exchequer.
The APP replied that there was no rent agreement whereas the property can not be rented out without a rent agreement. The accused and his men rented out many properties without a rent agreement. The CEO had allegedly said the document was with the accused, AAP submitted.
At this point, Rahul Mehra rebutted that the accused was in their custody for 10 days. Still, the agency was able to recover the documents. The agency should go after the CEO if he is not providing the document.
Earlier, the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) had said that money was sent to Dubai and other money transactions need to be investigated. It was also alleged that an MCD school in Fatehpuri masjid was converted to shops and they were rented out at lesser rent. This caused a loss to the board.
The APP also referred to an incident of alleged misbehaving by the accused with the former CEO during a meeting. He said the accused misbehaved with him. He did not allow the videography of the meeting. Everything was being done only by the accused and his people on the board.
He also referred to the statement of a woman employee of the board who said that files related to the digitalisation program WAMSI were got removed so that it could not take place. (ANI)