The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday issued a show-cause notice to hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, asking him to explain the source of USD 10,000 “illegally” possessed by him in 2002. The foreign currency was seized during Income Tax Department raids at his residence in Srinagar’s Hyderpora area in 2002. The central probe agency issued the notice, under various sections of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), to the 87-year-old separatist leader based in Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir.
Geelani heads the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference. Taking cognisance of the Income Tax report, the ED had issued summons to Geelani to appear before it in Srinagar in March this year. “His counsel submitted a written reply and denied the recovery of foreign currency from his residence and seizure.
“Following further summons, his chartered accountant submitted the appeal documents confirming the recovery and seizure of foreign currency. However, he failed to furnish a legitimate source for its acquisition and possession thus making himself liable for action under FEMA,” an ED statement said.
Under the FEMA, foreign exchange dealings are regulated in India and the acquisition and possession of foreign exchange by resident Indians are required to be conducted in accordance with the general or special permission. “Geelani did not have any such permission or bona fide explanation for acquisition and possession of the foreign currency.
“Therefore, he has been asked to show cause to the adjudicating officer under FEMA within 30 days as to why the recovered currency should not be confiscated and penalty imposed on him,” the agency said.