ED issues show cause notice to Hurriyat's Syed Ali Shah Geelani over illegal possession of $10,000

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday issued a show cause notice to Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, asking him to explain the source of $10,000 (Rs 6,46,605) "illegally" possessed by him in 2002.

 ED issues show cause notice to Hurriyats Syed Ali Shah Geelani over illegal possession of ,000

File image of Syed Ali Shah Geelani. AFP

According to PTI, the foreign currency was seized during Income Tax Department raids at his residence in Srinagar's Hyderpora area in 2002.

The central probe agency issued the notice, under various sections of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to Geelani.

Taking cognisance of the Income Tax report, the ED had issued summons to Geelani to appear before it in Srinagar in March this year. The ED statement issued said that his counsel submitted a written reply and denied recovery of foreign currency from his residence.

According to PTI, the ED statement further stated that following the summons, his chartered accountant submitted the appeal documents confirming the recovery and seizure of foreign currency. But he failed to furnish a legitimate source for its acquisition and possession thus making himself liable for action under FEMA.

Under FEMA, foreign exchange dealings are regulated in India and the acquisition and possession of foreign exchange by Indian residents are required to be conducted in accordance with the general or special permission.

Geelani did not have any such permission or bona fide explanation for acquisition and possession of the foreign currency.

He has now been asked to show cause to the adjudicating officer under FEMA within 30 days to answer why the recovered currency should not be confiscated and a penalty be imposed on him.  

Earlier, National Investigation Agency (NIA) had detained Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Ahmad Shah, Ajaz Akbar, spokesman of the Geelani-led Hurriyat group, and Mehrajudin Kalwal in connection with alleged terror-funding received by separatists for carrying out subversive activities in Kashmir.

They were arrested on Wednesday and remained in preventive custody before being flown to Delhi for interrogation by the NIA.

In an expose, India Today TV news channel had on Wednesday showed separatist leaders Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate and Qazi Baba accept that they had been receiving funds through hawala channels to foment trouble in the Valley.

The NIA took cognizance of the expose and registered FIR following which formal questioning of select separatists began. Raids were also carried out at many places in Srinagar, Delhi and Haryana to unearth evidence involving these separatists.

After FIR was filed for receiving hawala funds, Nayeem Khan was suspended by Geelani from his Hurriyat group. Geelani, widely seen as a hardliner, openly backs Jammu and Kashmir's merger with Pakistan.

However, the separatists have not made any comments regarding the NIA raids and the show cause notice issued by the ED to Geelani.  

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jun 29, 2017 23:07:09 IST