Court issues notice to Farooq Abdullah, others in JKCA case

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A court here on Saturday issued notice to six persons including former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah for filing response to a plea by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the alleged multi-crore J&K Cricket Association fund misappropriation case.

The ED is seeking “committal” of the case from the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar to the designated special court – Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar.

The court also issued notice to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for its response to the plea.

In July 2017, the CBI filed charge-sheet before the CJM Srinagar in the case for charges of criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust under the RPC against  Farooq Abdullah Abdullah, the then president of JKCA, Muhammad Saleem Khan, the then general secretary, Ahsan Ahmad Mirza, the then treasurer and Bashir Ahmad Misgar, an executive in the J&K Bank.

CJM Srinagar Gowhar Majid Dalal issued notices to Abdullah, Khan, Mirza and Misger seeking their response to the ED’s application by September 21 after hearing advocate Mumtaz Kapra on its behalf .

The court also directed Manzoor Gazanfar Ali and Gulzar Ahmad Beigh to respond to the plea.

In its application moved before the CJM Srinagar, the ED said that an FIR under no 05/2015 was registered by the police station CBI Srinagar under sections 120 B , 406, 409 of  RPC against Khan and  Mirza who were office bearers of JKCA.

After the investigation, the ED said, the CBI filed charge-sheet before CJM Srinagar disclosing offences under 120- B 406, 409 , 420 of RPC against Mirza and other accused.

“Offences under 406, 409 and 120- B RPC correspond to the sections of IPC in terms of section 2(2) of PMLA 2002 and are scheduled offences under the Prevention of Money laundering Act, 2002,” reads the ED plea.

The plea underlines that the ED initiated investigation in the commission of offence under the said Act against the present accused by registering Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) on 20-18-2018.

The ED said the Investigation conducted by it established that Mirza the then treasurer JKCA siphoned off an amount of Rs 112.33 Crore during the period of 2002-2011 by transferring the money of JKCA into his own bank accounts. “The accused has committed offence as defined under section 3 of PMLA 2002”.

The application reveals that after completion of the investigation, the ED as per section 44 of PMLA filed criminal complaint before special Court (Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar) . The Court, the ED said, has taken cognizance of the compliant and has framed the accused.

“As per section 43(2) PMLA 2002 the Special Court trying the offence under the provisions of PMLA 2002 is also to try the scheduled offence being tried by the same court or by some other court- both the trials are to be conducted by the special court together simultaneously,” says ED in its plea.

It submits that under section 44( C )of PMLA Act, the CJM Court  has to commit the case to  Special Court where the compliant was already filed .

“If the court which has taken cognizance of the scheduled offence is other than the special court which has taken cognizance of the compliant of the offence of money laundering under sub-clause ( b) , it shall , on an application by the authority authorized to file complaint under this Act, commit the case relating to the scheduled offence to the special court and the  special court shall on receipt  of such case proceed to deal with it from the stage at which it is committed,” the ED submits.

The ED prays that in these circumstances its application be allowed and the case be committed to the special court (Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar)

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court had in 2015 ordered a CBI probe into the alleged scandal following a petition filed by two cricketers from the state.