Geelani aide moves high court for dropping of charges

Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, suspected aide of Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Monday moved Delhi High Court against the trial court order of framing charges against him for his alleged involvement in money laundering to fund terror.

Bhat in his petition challenged the trial court order dated March 3 when National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Judge framed charges against Bhat, Muhammad Sidiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmed Dagga, for committing offences under various provisions of anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Seeking quashing of the chargesheet filed by the NIA on August 2011, Bhat said that the case against him is false and fabricated.

Bhat in his petition said: ‘The trial court has failed to appreciate the blatant falsehood, fabrication and concoction writ large on the case put forth by the prosecution.’

The NIA, in its charge sheet alleged that Bhat collected over Rs.4.57 crore during a period of three years, starting January 2008, through money laundering channels for terror activities.

He said that NIA failed to establish that any money was recovered from him.

Bhat with Muhammad Sidiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmed Dagga were allegedly involved in the illegal transfer of funds through hawala channels and that these funds were being used to fund terrorist activities.

Bhat was arrested from Kashmir in January 2011 by a joint team of Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir police and Rs.21 lakh were allegedly recovered from him. Delhi Police’s anti-terror unit, Special Cell, later handed over the case to NIA.

The division bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice S.P. Garg of High Court posted the matter for April 17 for hearing.

Meanwhile, the trial which was supposed to be held Monday has been deferred by the trial court for Tuesday. National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Judge H.S. Sharma deferred the testifying of witnesses in the case for Tuesday after he found that witnesses failed to appear in the court Monday.



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