The Delhi Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) on Friday arrested AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan in connection with irregularities observed in the Delhi Waqf Board case.
An FIR in the case was registered two years ago and since then investigation has been underway. As a part of the investigation, Khan was called to the office of the ACB on Friday for questioning in relation to the case. Based on his questioning, the agency said, search operations were conducted at four locations allegedly linked to Khan.
On Friday, Anti-Corruption Branch raided multiple locations, including the home of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Amanatullah Khan. The agency said that it recovered incriminating material and evidence against the AAP leader during the raids conducted earlier yesterday.
During the raid by the ACB, an unlicensed Beretta pistol was recovered from Hamid Ali Khan, the alleged close aide of Khan. During the raids, officials also recovered Rs 24 lakhs.
In a statement released after the raids, the ACB said, “From these locations, around Rs 24 lakh in cash has been recovered and two illegal and unlicenced weapons and cartridges and ammunition was also recovered. Also, at one of the locations i.e. outside the residence of Mr Amanatullah Khan, the search team consisting of an ACP was attacked by the relatives and other known persons of Mr Amanatullah Khan and they also caused obstruction in the discharge of government duty.”
Subsequently, the ACB filed two more cases against him, the first one pertaining to the recovery of illegal weapons, and the second for the alleged attack on the officers.
What is the case against Amanatullah Khan?
Even so, the raids on Khan are related to an unauthorised appointment to the Waqf Board. In 2016, a case was lodged against Khan following a complaint from the sub-divisional magistrate (headquarters), revenue department, alleging that appointments to various “existing and non-existing posts” in the Waqf Board were “arbitrary and illegal”.
The complainant, Hafiz Irshad Qureshi alleged that 33 people were recruited to the Board on a contractual basis in flagrant violation of established rules or regulations. He further alleged that some of those appointed to the board were related to Khan and most of them belonged to his constituency, Okhla.
Four years later, in 2020, the ACB registered an FIR against him under Section 7 (public servant taking gratification) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, and Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.
The CBI had also booked AAP MLA from Okhla under the prevention of corruption act and other relevant sections of the IPC after a complaint was filed against him in 2016. Khan was also accused of corrupt actions and criminal offences including deliberate and criminal violation of rules, regulations, and misuse of position.
Reportedly, CBI had probed the matter and found substantial evidence against the AAP MLA, following which the CBI sought permission from LG to proceed against him in July 2022.
Apart from Amanatullah Khan, Mehboob Alam, then CEO of Waqf Board was also charged by the premier agency with criminal violation of rules, misusing of position, and causing loss to the public exchequer and other relevant sections.
According to the complaint, the CEO of the new waqf board and over 30 staff members were appointed and employed in contravention of Section 24 of the Waqf Act, 1955 and Delhi Waqf Rules, 1977. The FIR by CBI stated that irregular and illegal appointment of officials had led to the loss of revenue of the Delhi Waqf Board, and the appointments were done by misusing their official positions as public servants. It was alleged that waqf board properties were leased to the tenants and the encroachers were allowed to possess the properties in contravention of lease rules leading to the loss of revenue/assets for the board.