A Delhi court will pronounce next week its order on whether to allow Enforcement Directorate to quiz a UAE-based businessman, arrested by the NIA and currently in judicial custody, in a terror-funding case also involving Lashkar-e-Taiba chief and 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed.
District Judge Poonam A Bamba reserved order on ED’s plea to quiz businessmen Naval Kishore Kapoor for September 11.
During a brief hearing on Thursday, ED’s special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana told the court that Naval Kishore Kapoor was required for interrogation and recording of his statement in a money laundering case, being probed by ED in connection with the present matter.
The NIA arrested Naval Kishore Kapoor on July 26 and he is presently lodged in Tihar central jail.
The ED had interrogated a Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Watali, a co-accused in the case, during an investigation in the matter under the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) for allegedly receiving funds from abroad.
In it’s application, moved through advocate A R Aditya, the ED told the court, “Watali had mobilised huge amount of funds in the guise of foreign remittance from unknown sources in India through/in association with one of his old associates Kapoor.”
“It is crucial to record the statement of the accused as the money laundering case is being investigated,” it said.
According to the NIA, Naval Kishore Kapoor entered in an agreement with Trison Farms and Constructions through its Managing Director Watali to take land in Budgam on lease.
Naval Kishore Kapoor remitted a total amount of Rs 5.579 crore in 22 instalments between 2013 and 2016 to Zahoor Watali, it had said.
According to the NIA, the said land did not exist in the name of the company and the agreement lacks legal sanctity.
The agency alleged that it was a ‘cover’ created by Zahoor Watali to bring foreign remittance from unknown sources to India.
Zahoor Watali, LeT chief Saeed, Hizbul Mujahideen head Syed Salahuddin and others have been accused by the NIA of “conspiring to wage war against the government” and fomenting trouble in the Kashmir Valley.
In its chargesheet, the NIA has alleged that officials of the Pakistan High Commission here were passing on money to separatists in Jammu and Kashmir through Watali.
The separatist leaders have been accused of taking a cut of the money.
Saeed has been accused of using Zahoor Watali’s services for passing on the money to the separatists and some individuals, who were actively indulging in stone-pelting in the Valley.
The NIA has charged Pakistan-based terrorists Saeed and Salahuddin, besides 10 others, with criminal conspiracy, sedition and provisions of the UAPA.
Besides Saeed, Salahuddin and Watali, the agency has named hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Shah alias Altaf Fantoosh and Bashir Ahmad Bhat in the chargesheet.
Hurriyat Conference leaders Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Mohammad Akbar Khanday and Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal have also been charged by the agency in the terror-funding case.
Most of the accused are in judicial custody.
Two of the accused – freelance photo-journalist Kamran Yusuf and Javed Ahmad Bhat – both accused of stone-pelting, were granted bail by the court.
The ED had registered a case under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act based on an FIR filed by the NIA.