New Delhi [India]: A Delhi Court on Wednesday granted bail to Aam Admi Party (AAP) MLA Amanatullah Khan in a case related to alleged irregularities in appointment in Delhi Waqf Board during his chairmanship.
The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) recently arrested him in the case. The Special Judge Vikas Dhull on Wednesday allowed Amanatullah Khan’s bail petition and directed him to furnish a personal bail bond of Rs one lakh and one like amount surety.
On Monday, the court remanded AAP MLA Amanatullah 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.
Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, while arguing on behalf of Amanatullah 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 Amanatullah 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.
There is no any material to show that the illegal money was recovered from the accused that is reflected in the diary recovered from the house of Laddan. Therefore the sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act are not made out, the counsel for the accused submitted.
There were 25 cases against the accused, out of which in 20 cases he has been acquitted, discharged or the cases have been compromised. Only 5 cases are there. Out which one is of the CBI in which charge sheet has been filed but the accused was not arrested.
In the present case 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 the help of widows were paid as salaries of those employees. Thus, there was a misappropriation of funds.
According to the ACB press statement, the case pertains to financial misappropriation and other irregularities in the functioning of the Delhi Waqf Board. As alleged in the FIR, Amanatullah Khan while working as Chairman of Delhi Waqf Board illegally recruited 32 persons violating all norms and Government guidelines and with allegations of corruption and favouritism. The then CEO of the Delhi Waqf Board had clearly given a statement and issued a memorandum against such illegal recruitment.
Further, it is alleged that as Chairman of Delhi Waqf Board Amanatullah Khan has rented out a number of properties of Delhi Waqf Board illegally with allegations of corruption and favouritism. Further, it has been alleged that he has misappropriated the funds of the Delhi Waqf Board comprising grants in aid from the Delhi Government.
ACB also stated that from the inputs received while questioning and on the basis of information developed by the Anti-Corruption Branch, 4 locations were searched by teams of the Anti-Corruption Branch, Delhi. From these locations, around Rupees Twenty Four Lakhs (24 lakhs) of cash has been recovered and 2 illegal & unlicensed weapons and cartridges and ammunition were also recovered.
Also, at one of the locations i.e. outside the residence of Amanatullah Khan, the search team consisting of an ACP was attacked by the relatives and other known persons of Amanatullah Khan and they also caused obstruction in the discharge of government duty to ACB officers.
Accordingly, 2 FIRs have been registered by the Anti-Corruption Branch, Delhi in the South-East District pertaining to the recovery of illegal weapons and 1 FIR relating to manhandling of a Police party by relatives of Amanatullah Khan.