Updated: March 12, 2015 7:41:54 pm
Controversial businessman Moin Akhtar Qureshi, an accused in a black money case, on Thursday was allowed to go abroad for business purposes by a Delhi court which directed that he will not visit any nation which does not have extradition treaty with India.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Devendra Kumar Sharma directed Qureshi, a meat exporter, to furnish a surety bond of Rs 10 lakh and also submit itinerary giving details of his stay abroad before leaving the country.
The court allowed Qureshi’s plea seeking permission to go to the United Kingdom, European Union and United Arab Emirates from March 13 to April 10 to attend business meetings and to negotiate with buyers for exports.
“… application in hand is allowed and applicant/accused is permitted to visit the places mentioned in the application subject to the condition if there is extradition treaty with the country named in the plea i.e. UK, any country of EU and UAE for the period of March 13 to April 10 and subject to furnishing of surety bond in a sum of Rs 10 lakh,” it said.
The judge directed Qureshi, who was also present in the court, to give an undertaking that he will not visit any of the country having no extradition treaty with India. He was asked to intimate the court on his return to India.
Qureshi’s plea was opposed by IT department’s standing counsel saying there was every chance that the accused may abscond or flee from justice. The counsel also said Qureshi should not be allowed as no affidavit/itinerary has been placed on record regarding exact place and purpose of visit.
Qureshi was summoned by the court as an accused in the black money case filed by Income Tax (IT) Department for allegedly not disclosing his income of nearly Rs 20 crore.
His employee Aditya Sharma was also summoned as accused in the case and both were granted bail after they appeared in the court.
While granting bail, the court had imposed condition on both the accused that they should not leave the country without its prior permission.
During the arguments on Thursday, Qureshi’s counsel said he was in the business of export of meat products and if not exported immediately, the entire product becomes a waste.
Due to the nature of business, the export orders need to be finalised without loss of time and for this purpose he has to regularly visit abroad.
The case already been fixed for April 29 for recording of pre-charge evidence.
The court had earlier taken cognisance of IT department’s complaint, which was filed under various provisions of the IT Act relating to making false statement and the IPC for the alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, giving or fabricating false evidence in a judicial proceeding.
The complaint had said the department was conducting a probe in the matter and had questioned Qureshi on February 15, 2014 at his residence.
During questioning, Qureshi made a false statement when he was asked about his income and assets and those in the names of his family members or associates, the complaint has alleged, adding, he was asked to furnish the list of lockers in banks.
As to the complaint, Qureshi had told the officials that he has only one locker with HSBC Bank’s South Extension branch but during investigation, the department found that he was having 11 lockers which were in the names of his employees and associates but the articles belonged to the businessman.
The lockers were operated by Qureshi’s employees of AMQ Group on his instructions, it had said.
It had said over Rs 11.26 crore in cash and jewellery worth over Rs 8.35 crore were found in the lockers.
Later on, Qureshi also admitted that the money and the articles belonged to him and surrendered everything to the department, saying it could deduct the income tax from the seized money and return rest of the articles to him.
The department took sanction to prosecute Qureshi and Sharma under the provisions of the IT Act and filed complaint in the court.
Regarding Sharma, the department had said that he tried to mislead the department by making false statement regarding the lockers.
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