BREAKING: [Delhi Riots 2020] Delhi HC dismisses former AAP Councilor Tahir Hussain's plea against charges under PMLA

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Former AAP Councilor Tahir Hussain moved a plea before the Delhi High Court seeking quashing and setting aside of order passed by the trial court on framing of charges under Sections 3 and 4 of the PMLA.

Justice Anu Malhotra of the Delhi High Court today dismissed a plea filed by Former Aam Aadmi Party Councilor Tahir Hussain seeking quashing and setting aside of charges framed against him by the trial court under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, in connection with the North East Delhi Riots 2020.

On November 15, the court had directed both the counsel to give their written submissions not exceeding three pages, within two days and had reserved order.

During the hearing, Advocates Naveen Malhotra, Nilansh Malhotra and Ritvik Malhotra appearing for Tahir Hussain had contended that ‘proceeds of crime’ is the core of an offence under the PMLA and there was no evidence to prove that Hussain earned something from the proceeds of crime, which was required for it to be an offence. Therefore, he argued that framing of charges cannot take place in this case.

Malhotra had argued, “Where is the property earned?” He had contended that Tahir Hussain has not earned anything directly or indirectly. He further argued that not a single property is attached to Hussain and that the GST violations, Tax violation is not proceeds of crime under the PMLA.

On the contrary, Advocate Zoheb Hossain for the Enforcement Directorate had opposed the application and had contended that S.120B (Criminal Conspiracy) is an independent offence and that Hussain in conspiracy generated and used the money for the purpose of riots. Zoheb had argued that “conspiracy is hatched” and there is a clear case made out against Tahir Hussain. Furthermore, he added that criminal conspiracy is a “stand-alone offence”.

Zoheb had argued that at the stage of framing of charges, the agency has enough evidence on record, hence, Tahir Hussain’s plea does not stand. It was further submitted that the bank accounts allegedly used by Hussain would also be a property under S. 8(5) of PMLA.

On November 3, Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat of the Karkardooma Court framed charges against the former AAP Councilor under Sections 3 and 4 of the PMLA. The court had also denied him statutory bail under Section 167(2) CrPC.

Case Title: Tahir Hussain v. Assistant Director Enforcement Directorate