New Delhi [India], December 8 (ANI): Former AAP MCD councillor Tahir Hussain on Friday argued that the trial in money laundering under PMLA should be stopped as the charges are yet to the framed in a predicate offence (main case).
Tahir Hussain is facing trial in Money laundering charges for allegedly funding the CAA protest. He is also accused in other cases including a larger conspiracy of Delhi riots and, the Ankit Sharma murder case.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Amitabh Rawat of Karkardooma Court was hearing an application of Tahir Hussain.
Advocate Naveen Kumar Malhotra and Ritvik Malhotra appeared for Tahir Hussain.
Advocate Naveen Malhotra argued that the money laundering case was registered based on the case of a crime branch registered for murder and criminal conspiracy.
He further argued that the trial proceedings in the PMLA case should be kept in abeyance as the charges have not been framed in the main case. He referred to the judgement of the Supreme Court and Telangana High Court.
Advocate Malhotra further argued that in the main case, allegations against Tahir Hussain is of murder and conspiracy and there was no proceed of our... of those offence. Therefore, the offence of money laundering is not applied against Tahir Hussain.
There should be proceeds of crime to attract the offence of money laundering, he added.
On the other hand, advocate Zoheb Hossain, special counsel and advocate Naveen Kumar Matta, Special public prosecutor, appeared for ED.
Zoheb Hossain appeared through video conferencing and opposed the submissions made by the counsel for Tahir Hussain. He submitted that he would file a written submission to rebut the arguments.
The court has directed ED to file written submissions by Monday.
During the hearing, ED's joint director appeared before the court. ED also apologised for the non-appearance of prosecution.
An application seeking an exemption from personal appearance was also moved by the Special director. The court allowed the same.
The court had summoned the Special Director in person.
The court has also reserved the order on a plea moved by Tahir Hussain seeking permission to sign a general power of attorney in favour of his wife.
Advocate Naveen Malhotra argued that there was no provisional He was to deposit an amount in the account of HUDA. This property is only on paper; it has not been allotted.
In its reply, ED submitted that Three is a proceed of crime to the time of Rs. 1.5 crores.
Advocate Malhotra submitted that Article 21 of the Constitution of India is violated by the ED.
There is not a single conviction in PMLA in Delhi. The PMLA Act was passed in 2002 Act, and now is 2023.
People are in jail for 3 to 4 years and trials have not been commenced, the counsel added.
He submitted that today Justice Sanjeev Khanna of the Supreme Court granted bail to Binoy Babu as the trial has not commenced yet.
The proceedings of trial ought to be stopped as the charges have not been framed in the predicate offence. He referred to the Telangana High Court decision.
He submitted that the predicate offence (main) must be tried first. Schedule offence cannot be tried prior or simultaneously.
There must be a proceed of crime to attract the offence of money laundering. As per the prosecution allegations of murder and criminal conspiracy and there is no proceed of crime. It is alleged that I (Tahir Hussain) funded the Dharna, counsel submitted
Trial must be stopped until the charges are framed in predicate offence. Unless the charges are framed in predicate offence, trial in this case be kept in abeyance, he submitted.
Court on Tuesday had summoned the Special Director of Enforcement Directorate (ED) over the non-appearance of Prosecution in a money laundering case against AAP's former Councillor Tahir Hussain. This case is related to the North East Delhi Riots of 2020.
The court had said, "Previously also, there was non-appearance on behalf of the prosecution in the Court for the purpose of filing reply and supply of application/judgments/arguments. Though it was stated that such a thing would not happen again, however, it has again happened."
The court had noted that there was a direction to provide an advance copy to the counsel for the accused. However, neither an advance copy has been supplied nor even a reply has been filed in the Court.
"In these circumstances, let the Special Director (Directorate of Enforcement) to appear in person on the next date on 08.12.2023 at 2.00 PM," ASJ Rawat ordered on December 5, 2023.
The court noted that the IO was not present in the court nor was anybody on behalf of the prosecution.
On January 11, 2023, the court had framed the charges against ex-MCD councillor Tahir Hussain in a money laundering case.
He has been charged with the offence of funding the Delhi riots of 2020 through laundered money. He has not pleaded guilty and claimed trial.
The Delhi High Court had dismissed his plea challenging the trial court order framing of charges in a money laundering case.
Earlier, the trial court had passed an order on framing of charges against Tahir Hussain and said, that Tahir Hussain, in a conspiracy to fraudulently withdraw money from the accounts of certain companies owned or controlled by him through bogus and malafide transactions with bogus entry operators on the strength of fake bills with him being the beneficiary and with intent putting it to use towards riots, then accused Tahir Hussain would be set to be deriving or obtaining property as a result of criminal activity associated with/relatable to scheduled offence as the proceeds of crime and will be guilty of money laundering.
Tahir Hussain is an accused and facing several cases in relation to North East Delhi Violence. Enforcement Directorate (ED) had registered a complaint against him in connection with alleged funding of riots.
His counsel had submitted that no case of money laundering was made out against his client. He had argued that the basis of the Enforcement Directorate case is the alleged transaction of Rs. 1.5 crore on fake and bogus invoices.
He argued that in the light of the said transaction, only a case of GST is made out against him for transactions through fake and bogus invoices.
According to the Delhi Police, Tahir Hussain is one of the prime accused in connection with North East Delhi Violence held in February 2020. ED had registered a complaint against him and other accused in the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) Act. (ANI)
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