Farooq Abdullah appears before special court in a PMLA case, granted bail

SRINAGAR — National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Saturday appeared before a special court which granted him bail in a money laundering case related to the alleged financial irregularities in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA).

The Principal District and Sessions Judge here had in July taken cognisance of a charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the case and summoned him.

The court will now hear arguments on the framing of charges on September 26.

As the case was called for hearing on Saturday, Abdullah’s lawyer Ishtiyaq Ahmad Khan said the NC chief may not be able to attend the court due to health issues.

The judge told Khan that Abdullah should be present in the court on the next date of hearing on September 26. The lawyer assured the court that the former J&K chief minister will attend the hearing on that day.

However, Abdullah, 84, arrived in the court later on Saturday and appeared before the judge as mandated in the law.

The special court had taken up a charge sheet filed by the ED against him and others in the JKCA money laundering case. All the accused have to be present in the court when the charge sheet is taken up for cognisance as per the procedure.

Abdullah and the other accused were released on bail after furnishing the necessary bonds.

“I went before the court and the necessary formalities were completed,” Abdullah told PTI.

The Lok Sabha member from Srinagar furnished a bail bond for Rs 50,000 and a surety for like amount, Khan said.

Abdullah has been questioned multiple times by the agency in this case.

He was the JKCA president from 2001 to 2012 and the “scam” being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED is about alleged financial misappropriation between 2004 and 2009.

The ED has attached properties worth over Rs 21 crore in the case already. This includes Rs 11.86 crore of immovable assets belonging to Abdullah.

The ED claimed that its probe so far has revealed that Ahsan Ahmad Mirza (former treasurer, JKCA) in connivance with other office-bearers of the JKCA, had misappropriated JKCA funds to the tune of Rs 51.90 crore and utilised proceeds of crime for settling his personal and business liabilities”.

The agency initiated the money laundering probe against the JKCA office-bearers on the basis of a case registered at the Rammunshi Bagh police station in Srinagar.

The case was later transferred to the CBI on the high court’s directions.

The CBI has filed a charge sheet in the case against the former JKCA office-bearers for misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs 43.69 crore. — (PTI)