Hawala dealer Wani moves bail plea

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New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) Alleged hawala dealer Muhammad Aslam Wani on Friday moved his bail plea in a money-laundering case.

Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to its file reply on it by Monday.

Wani’s counsel M.S. Khan stated that “since the section 45 PMLA has been declared unconstitutional, the present application is being filed in view of this changed circumstance”.

The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), paving the way for accused to get out on bail as per the provision applicable to other offences.

The ED in September filed a chargesheet against Wani and Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah under the provisions of the PMLA.

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Khan stated that there is no evidence of any nature connecting Wani to the co-accused Shah and there is also no material to connect the accused with the offence of money-laundering.

Wani was arrested on August 6. He had reportedly confessed that he had passed on hawala money amounting to Rs 2.25 crore to Shabir Shah.

Shah was arrested on July 25 on charges of money-laundering in a case dating back to 2005 when the Delhi Police Special Cell arrested Wani.

In the 2005 case lodged by the Special Cell, the court had acquitted co-accused Wani of the charges of criminal conspiracy and other offences but convicted him under the Arms Act, his defence counsel told the court.

The ED submitted that conviction under the Arms Act is a triggering point to take action under PMLA.

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Both of them have denied charges.



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