Tariq Ahmed Dar, who was convicted in the 2005 Diwali-eve serial blasts in New Delhi that had claimed 67 lives, on Friday moved the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of a money laundering case against him. Justice S P Garg issued notice to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and asked it to file a response on Dar’s plea, who was recently granted bail by the trial court in the same case. The trial court had allowed Dar’s bail plea noting that he was in custody in the money laundering case for over five years which was 70 per cent of the maximum sentence of seven years for the offence.
The convict has urged the court that unless he is found to have committed scheduled offence, he cannot be prosecuted. Dar was sentenced to a 10-year jail term by the trial court on February 16 in the 2005 serial blasts case for being a member of banned terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and extending support to it. He remained in jail for 11 years.
The trial court, however, had acquitted two others — Mohd Rafiq Shah and Mohd Hussain Fazili — of all charges, saying the Special Cell of Delhi Police had “miserably failed” to prove the charges against them. Dar is facing trial in the related money laundering case lodged by the ED for allegedly possessing proceeds of crime which was punishable under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
While granting him bail, the trial court had said that the “perusal of the complaint filed by the ED reveals that the prosecution of Dar for the offences under Sections 3 and 4 of the PMLA are based on the same banking transactions which were relied upon by the prosecution with respect to his charge under section 17 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in his trial arising out of FIRs…(in Sarojini Nagar, Paharganj, Kalkaji police stations and by the Special Cell). “Dar stands acquitted with respect to the charge under section 17 of the UAPA.”
The PMLA proceedings were initiated by the ED in September 2011 when Dar was already in judicial custody in the blasts case lodged by Delhi Police. He was in custody in the PMLA case since September 26, 2011. The serial blasts at Sarojini Nagar, Paharganj and Kalkaji on October 29, 2005 had taken a toll of 67 lives and left over 225 persons injured.