SC sets aside Delhi HC's order granting bail to Zahoor Watali in terror funding case

Special NIA Judge Rakesh Syal had permitted the agency to conduct the interrogation on any three days between March 24 and April 5.

Published: 02nd April 2019 04:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd April 2019 04:58 PM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Supreme Court (File Photo | PTI)


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday set aside the order of Delhi High Court granting bail to Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, an accused in terror funding case.

"We set aside the order of the Delhi High Court. The petition filed by the NIA is allowed," a division bench of the apex court comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi said while setting aside the order.

A special NIA court on March 20 allowed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to question Altaf Shah, son-in-law of Kashmiri separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani, besides Zahoor Watali and Naval Kishore inside Tihar jail for three days in connection with the case.

Special NIA Judge Rakesh Syal had permitted the agency to conduct the interrogation on any three days between March 24 and April 5.

According to ED, Watali, an influential businessman, is allegedly known to some Pakistani leaders and Kashmiri separatists. It has also alleged that Watali is known to Kishore, who was a UAE-based businessman.

In the previous hearing on Friday, ED's counsel Nitesh Rana had submitted that the agency wanted to question the accused in Tihar Jail to confront them with some documents and fresh evidence in connection with the case.

Last year, the Delhi High Court had granted bail to Watali. He was arrested for his alleged role in the terror-funding case involving Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief and 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed.

Watali was then asked to furnish a personal bail bond of Rs 2 lakh with two surety of the same amount and surrender his passport.

For long, Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali has been acting as one of the major financial conduits for Hurriyat leaders and for secessionists and anti-India activities under the garb of business.

Watali is also said to have floated various shell companies from where money is transferred into other bogus and illegal bank accounts which are used to channelise funds to Hurriyat leaders.

During the NIA probe, various incriminating documents relating to various shell companies in UAE, UK and property papers in India have seized from his premises as well as the premises of his associates.

According to sources, Naval Kishore Kapoor is a close associate of Watali and has remitted Rs 5.6 crore in various installments to Watali for which he has not been able to produce any document regarding the source of funds. The duo ran a network of bogus and shell companies.

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