Saturday, December 9, 2023

Delhi court acquits AAP leader Amanatullah Khan in case related to appointments in Delhi Waqf Board

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A local court in Delhi on Wednesday acquitted AAP leader Amanatullah Khan and 10 others in a case related to appointments in the Delhi Waqf Board.

Special Judge M.K. Nagpal of the Rouse Avenue Courts acquitted the AAP MLA, who is also the Chairman of the Waqf Board, in a case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe illegal appointments in the Waqf Board.

The Court acquitted the accused for lack of evidence, observing that this was a fit case where bail should be granted to the accused, as there was no reason or ground for taking any of them into custody.

CBI had alleged that a loss of Rs 27,20,494 was caused to the Government exchequer in the form of salaries or other emoluments, which was paid to the employees. However, none of the accused was arrested by the probe agency during investigation.

The Judge further noted that non-arrest of an accused during investigation was an ‘important’ factor, which had to be taken into consideration while considering the grant of bail.

The court had taken cognisance of offences in CBI’s FIR in November, 2022 and summoned the accused, who were then released on personal bonds till disposal of their regular bail applications.

The Judge took note of the charge sheet filed by CBI in August last year for commission of offence of criminal conspiracy under Section 120­B of IPC read with Sections 13(2) and 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The court noted that though the charge sheet in the case was filed in August last year, the FIR was registered long back in November, 2016.

It said the investigation had been ‘pending’ with the CBI for a long period of around six years. There was ‘sufficient’ time and opportunity available to the IO of case to arrest the applicants or any of them during this period.

The court said the IO or CBI had, however, taken a conscious decision not to arrest any of the applicants in this case and the IO had chargesheeted them before this court without arrest.

It further observed that in view of the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court, both morally and legally, CBI did not have any right to oppose the bail petition of the accused and that it should be left to the court to consider the matter on merits.

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