The Delhi High Court denied anticipatory bail to MLA Amantullah Khan in a case registered against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Stressing that an MLAs status of being an elected representative of the people does not create an elite class entitling different treatment under the law, the Bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma observed that, "the material evidences so gathered during the course of investigation under PMLA revealed that the applicant Amanatullah Khan has acquired huge cash amounts, being the proceeds of crime out of criminal activities relating to his corrupt and illegal activities relating to illegal recruitment of the persons in Delhi Waqf Board, leasing out the properties of Delhi Waqf Board in unfair & illegal manner, misappropriation of Delhi Waqf Board funds including others while being the public servant i.e. Chairman of Delhi Waqf Board and MLA from Okhla Legislative Assembly of Delhi during the period from 2015 onwards. In order to launder the same, he had hatched a criminal conspiracy along with his close associates and others and in pursuant thereupon, he had invested his ill-gotten money i.e. proceeds of crime, in the immovable properties through his associates.. As alleged, he had purchased immovable properties in the name of benamidars... both accused persons, by concealing and suppressing their actual value which is very nominal in comparison to their actual sale value and actively concealed amounts that were paid in cash to the seller, which are the proceeds of crime acquired by the applicant Amanatullah Khan out of his corrupt and illegal activities relating to the offences scheduled under PMLA."

Senior Counsel Kabil Sibal, along with others, appeared for the petitioner, while Special Counsel Zoheb Hossain, along with others, appeared for the respondents.

A case had been registered against the petitioner, an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Delhi, and Mahboob Alam, the former CEO of the Delhi Waqf Board (DWB), along with unknown individuals. The Central Bureau of Investigation initiated the case, citing offenses under Section 120-B of the Penal Code, 1860, and Section 13(1)(d) read with Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

The chargesheet filed by the CBI alleged the illegal appointment of Mahboob Alam by the petitioner, involving a tailored advertisement, resolution passed for the appointment before the application deadline, and exclusion of other candidates from the interview process. The petitioner, as the Chairman of DWB, was accused of misusing his official position by employing relatives and acquaintances in DWB without official authorization. To legitimize their appointments, an advertisement was published in Urdu newspapers on 24-4-2016.

During the investigation conducted by the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), searches were conducted at locations belonging to the petitioner and his associates. These searches led to the seizure of various incriminating documents, records, articles, illegal weapons, and three diaries revealing significant cash transactions exceeding Rs 100 crore between 2018 and 2022. The diaries disclosed details of property transactions in Delhi, Dehradun, Telangana, etc.

The Court observed that, "the material brought before this Court at this stage is sufficient to attract bar under Section 45 of PMLA, and it prima facie shows the offence of money laundering being committed by the present accused/applicant."

In light of the same, it was held that the case was not fit for grant of pre-arrest bail to the applicant.


Petitioner: Senior Counsel Kapil Sibal, Counsels Rajat Bhardwaj, Adit S Pujari, Mohd. Irshad, Kanish Rap, Kaustubh Khanna, Rishikesh Kumar, Roopali

Respondent: Special Counsel Zoheb Hossain, SPPs Manish Jain, S Benjamin, Counsels Vivek Gurnani, Kartik Sabharwal, Kanishk Maurya, Vivek Gaurav, Pranjal

Cause Title: Amanatullah Khan vs Directorate of Enforcement

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