Court grants bail to AAP’s Amanatullah, others in Waqf Board case

The Special CBI Court on Wednesday granted regular bail to Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan and ten others in a case of alleged misuse of position related to “illegal appointments” to the Delhi Waqf Board.

Earlier, they were granted interim bail by the same court until the disposal of their regular bail. According to the CBI FIR, the case was registered in 2016 under Section 120B IPC read with Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (PC Act) against Amantullah Khan and others on allegations that he, as chairman of the Delhi Wakf Board (DWB), acted corruptly and illegally in appointing Mahboob Alam as CEO of the DWB.

The CBI stated that Amanatullah Khan also got his relatives and other known persons appointed to various contractual or daily wage posts in the DWB, in collusion with and in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy hatched between all of them, and that all these appointments were made by misuse and abuse of the official positions of Amanatullah Khan and Mahboob Alam and also without following the due process of law.

The rest of the nine accused in the case are some of these appointees and also the beneficiaries of and participants in the above criminal conspiracy, as alleged, as noted by the Court.

It was alleged by the CBI that in total, 41 persons were appointed in DWB in different capacities and under different schemes, and these included Mahboob Alam who had been appointed as CEO of the DWB. It was also alleged that a loss of Rs. 27,20,494 has been caused to the government exchequer in the form of salaries or other emoluments that had been paid to the above employees or accused.

According to the CBI, the chargesheet stated that Amanatullah Khan was elected as a member and also the Chairman of DWB in his capacity as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Okhla Constituency, New Delhi, on the ticket of the Aam Adami Party (AAP) and was holding a public office at the time of the commission of alleged offenses. Sanction under Section 19 of the PC Act as well as 197 Cr.P.C. for his prosecution, in this case, was also obtained by the CBI and placed on record as part of the relied-upon documents filed with the charge sheet.

Similarly, since Mahboob Alam also held a public office, a sanction for his prosecution was also obtained and filed on record. However, it is necessary to mention here that none of the accused being prosecuted through the above charge sheet was arrested by the CBI during the investigation of the case, as noted by the court.

The Special Judge MK Nagpal said on Wednesday, while passing the order, that, considering the totality of facts and circumstances and in light of the legal position discussed, this court is of the considered opinion that it is a fit case where bail should be granted to the applicants pending trial and there is no reason or ground for taking any of them into custody.

Hence, they all are hereby admitted to bail and are directed to furnish a personal bond of Rs. fifty thousand each with one surety of the like amount each for their appearance before this court during the trial and until the disposal of the case, said the Court.

According to the court, none of the applicants can be considered a flight risk because they are all permanent residents of their given addresses with roots in society and families to support. Again, it cannot be ignored that Amanatullah Khan was an MLA from the Okhla constituency at the relevant time of the commission of alleged offenses, and even now he is stated to be an MLA from the same constituency having been elected on the ticket of AAP, said the Court.

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