A senior citizen from New Delhi has moved a plea in the Gujarat High Court for joining as a party to oppose the bail plea of Afroz Hassan Fatta, alleged kingpin of Rs 10,000 crore Surat hawala racket.
During the hearing on the bail petition on Tuesday, Fatta’s lawyer opposed the plea of RN Sharma, a retired government employee from Delhi, saying that he has no locus.
However, Sharma has said he has already filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court in public interest demanding CBI probe in the case as the case is not properly investigated by Surat police. The case was first detected by Enforcement Directorate that is probing the case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and has chargesheeted 89 persons so far. The ED officials have detected trails of bank accounts leading to a transfer of over Rs.10,000 crore to Dubai and Hong Kong through hawala channel.
On the other hand, Surat police is investigating a criminal case related to firing at Surat resident who was mistaken as Afroz Fatta. In this case Fatta was granted bail by the high court while his bail application in PMLA case is being heard in the court. Earlier, his bail applications were rejected by special PMLA court as well as high court.
After a brief argument, Justice Z K Saiyed issued a notice to the state government as well as the ED and adjourned the matter for further hearing. Earlier too, when Fatta moved a petition seeking temporary bail on medical grounds, Sharma had opposed the plea alleging the medical certificates produced by the accused were forged. Fatta withdrew the plea eventually.
In the writ petition in Supreme Court, Sharma has alleged that Fatta is helped by the local police in manipulating the investigation. He said that Fatta’s transfer from Sabarmati Central Jail, Ahmedabad, to Surat and then to “Navsari sub-jail was illegal as no one sought permission for his transfer from the judiciary since Fatta is in judicial custody”. Therefore, Sharma moved the apex court where the matter is pending.
Interestingly, a police officer in Surat had written a letter to the CBI Director on October 22, 2014, seeking “a detailed inquiry into all financial transactions (suspected hawala transactions) of, Sunil Kothari, Irfan Hanjar, Dinesh Nagpal and Afroz Fatta”.
The letter claimed that underworld gangsters Babloo Srivastav and Chota Rajan among others were involved in the hawala transactions, and investigation has revealed that “Afroz Fatta is involved in diverting funds to some terrorist organisations”.
“Afroz is known to be funding specifically to an extremist organization (Indian Mujahideen) based in Saudi Arabia. They even had information that some of the terrorists caught at Nepal border, even confessed that their organisations were getting funds through Afroz Fatta,” it had said.
The letter has originated from the Office of the Commissioner of Police” Surat which is investigating a connected case in which one Amjad Dalal, resident of Rander, Surat was shot at by contract killers. The letter states that the investigation revealed that it was a case of mistaken identity and the real target was Afroz Fatta, who was at that time under the scanner of ED officials.