Patiala House Court reserves order on Kashmiri separatist leader Shabbir Shah's bail

According to a reply filed by the Enforcement Directorate, Shah was in regular touch with Jama'at-ud-Da'wah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
Kashmiri separatist leader Shabbir Shah (File photo| ANI)
Kashmiri separatist leader Shabbir Shah (File photo| ANI)

NEW DELHI: Delhi's Patiala House Court on Thursday reserved order on Kashmiri separatist leader Shabbir Shah's bail in connection with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) case related to terror funding.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana said the court will pass an order in the evening after the conclusion of the arguments from both sides.

Shah's lawyer MS Khan submitted: "My client has full faith in the Constitution and judiciary system of the country. He believes in what is legal, just and fair, he personally stands for freedom, liberty, human rights and equal opportunity."

He further submitted that his client has always responded to the ED summons and co-operated with the agency. "The ED investigation in the case is very slow. Shah was arrested in 2017 and in four hears agency has examined only five witnesses," he added.

The same court on the last date of hearing had asked Shah's lawyer: "Whether your client has full faith in the judicial system and Constitution of India, take clear instructions from your client on this". The court then deferred the hearing for July 1 in the bail plea of Kashmiri Separatist leader in connection with the terror funding case.

Meanwhile, Advocate Rajiv Awasthi, appearing for the ED submitted that one property has been identified which needs to be attached soon. The lawyer also stated that Shah is an influential person and the investigation is at a crucial stage. "We nabbed him after lots of effort. If he will be granted bail or released, he will flee to Kashmir, even if he stays in Delhi, he can use the technology to destabilise the situation in the Kashmir Valley," he added.

Recently, the ED in reply filed in the court had said, the present case discloses the commission of a serious crime where the accused is involved in the "generation of huge proceeds of crime from various countries including Pakistan to create unrest in Kashmir".

"Shabbir Shah was also involved in terror financing activities as terrorists need money to sustain themselves and to carry out terrorist acts. Money-laundering is the method by which criminals disguise the illegal origins of their wealth and protect their asset bases, so as to avoid the suspicion of law enforcement agencies and prevent leaving a trail of incriminating evidence," the ED's reply stated.

According to the ED' reply, accused Shah was in regular touch with Hafiz Sayeed, Chief of banned terrorist outfit Jamat-Ud-Dawa (JuD), based in Pakistan. Jamat-Ud-Dawa is a banned Organization under UNSC resolution number 1267 which organises and supports cross-border terrorism.

Shah recently had moved the bail application for grant of bail invoking the provisions of Section 436A of the Code of Criminal Procedure on the ground that he has undergone half of the sentence prescribed for the offence of Money Laundering under Section 4 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Aslam Wani, co-accused in the matter is already granted bail in the matter and Shah is also suffering from various health issues, bail petition read.

Earlier, Shah had mentioned in a bail application that he is a chairman of the Democratic Freedom Party and allegations levelled against him are "motivated and based on falsehood".

The first case was registered against him in 2007 for the alleged money laundering committed in 2005 for the purpose of terror financing. He was arrested by ED on July 25, 2017, in connection with the 2005 case.

In another case, the NIA took Shah in custody in June 2019 in connection with its probe into a separate terror funding case involving Jama'at-ud-Da'wah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. Several separatist leaders including Shah, Masrat Alam, and Asiya Andrabi are in judicial custody in connection with the case which involves the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed.

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