Court reserves order on Wani's bail plea / Agency | December 01, 2017 05:07 PM
Court reserves order on Wani's bail plea

New Delhi,  A court here on Friday reserved order on the bail plea of alleged hawala dealer Muhammad Aslam Wani, accused in a money laundering case.

Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma said the court would deliver the order on December 4.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has opposed the bail plea citing the gravity of offence.

Wani's counsel M.S. Khan sought bail in the "changed circumstances", contending that Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) had been declared unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court last week struck down Section 45 of the PMLA, paving the way for the accused to get bail as per the provision applicable to other offences.

Public Prosecutors Navin Kumar Matta and Rajeev Awasthi said that declaring the PMLA Section 45 unconstitutional did not entitle everyone to get bail.

The prosecutors apprised the court that the nature of offences had to be seen while deciding the bail plea of an accused involved in money laundering. They said that the allegations against Wani were serious in nature.

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

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 in which 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 was a triggering point to take action under the PMLA. Both the accused have denied the charges.

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