The Delhi High Court granted bail to alleged hawala dealer Mohammad Aslam Wani, arrested in a money laundering case involving Kashmiri separatist Shabir Shah.
Justice Najmi Waziri granted bail to Aslam Wani, who has been in jail since his arrest in 2017.
The court directed him to furnish a personal bond of Rs. 3 lakh and two sureties of the like amount.
Aslam Wani was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), with the help of Jammu and Kashmir Police, from Srinagar on August 6, 2017 and is currently in judicial custody.
Shabir Shah was arrested by the agency from Srinagar on July 26, 2017.
The ED had opposed Aslam Wani’s bail plea saying the investigation was still going on. It said there was an apprehension that if released, Aslam Wani may flee from justice.
A trial court had earlier denied bail to Aslam Wani in the decade-old case.
Aslam Wani was earlier arrested on August 26, 2005 with the ED claiming that Rs. 63 lakh had been recovered from him.
Advocate MS Khan, appearing for Aslam Wani, had sought bail after the Supreme Court set aside all orders by which bail to an accused was denied due to a stringent condition in money laundering cases and directed that such cases be remanded back to the respective courts to be heard on merit.
Mr Khan had said a 2010 trial court judgement clearing Aslam Wani of terror funding charges in the 2005 case, based on which the current money laundering case was lodged in 2007, was later confirmed by the Delhi High Court.
The ED had claimed that Aslam Wani had not cooperated in the probe and the money trail was yet to be found.
In September 2017, the agency filed a charge sheet against Aslam Wani and Shabir Shah, whose bail application in the case was also dismissed on August 22 last year.
The ED’s action against the two was in pursuance of the August 2005 case in which the Delhi Police’s Special Cell had arrested Aslam Wani, who is alleged to have claimed that he had passed on Rs. 2.25 crore to Shabir Shah.
The agency had registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against Shah and Aslam Wani.