NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a money-laundering case against Tablighi Jamaat leader Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, who also held a religious congregation in Delhi allegedly in violation of the lockdown orders, and others.Officials said an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) has been filed by the agency based on a Delhi Police FIR.
A criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been filed against Kandhalvi, the trusts linked to him and the Jamaat and a few others, a senior official said.
The Delhi Police’s crime branch had, on March 31, lodged an FIR against seven people, including the cleric, on a complaint by the SHO of Nizamuddin police station for holding a congregation of Tablighi Jamaat followers in alleged violation of the orders against large gatherings to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Officials said the ED has worked on the finances and transactions of the Tablighi Jamaat and its office bearers over the last few days and has obtained various documents from banks and financial intelligence-gathering agencies.
It is soon expected to issue summons to Kandhalvi, reported to be in self-quarantine, for questioning in the case. The agency, they said, is also looking at the opinion of medical experts about Kandhalvi’s claim of self-quarantine in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak.
Kandhalvi had organised the religious gathering at Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi last month against the social distancing protocol imposed by the Centre to curb the spread of the deadly virus.The ED is also looking at the personal finances of Kandhalvi and some other office bearers and associates of the Tablighi Jamaat, they said. Certain donations received by the Islamic organisation from foreign and domestic sources are also under the scanner of the agency, officials said.
In an audio message released sometime back, Kandhalvi had said he was exercising self-quarantine after hundreds who visited the congregation tested positive for coronavirus.
(With agency inputs)