Delhi High Court issues notice to Moin Qureshi on CBI’s plea for higher security deposit to travel abroad

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Monday issued notice to controversial meat exporter Moin Akhtar Qureshi on a CBI plea to enhance the security amount he has to pay to travel abroad. Justice Chander Shekhar sought the response of Qureshi on the agency’s plea seeking enhancing of security from Rs 2 crore to Rs 6 crore which Qureshi, accused in a cheating and corruption case, has been asked to furnish before travelling to the UAE and Pakistan.

Recently, Qureshi was allowed by a trial court to travel to the UAE from February 15-23 for attending the Gulf Food Festival and to Pakistan from March 6-20 to attend his niece’s wedding. The court had also directed him to furnish an additional security of Rs 2 crore in the form of bank guarantee and warned that in case of violation of any of the conditions imposed, the amount would be forfeited.

The CBI has moved the high court urging that the security amount be raised from Rs 2 crore to Rs 6 crore on the grounds that earlier the trial court had permitted a co-accused to go abroad on furnishing FDR or bank guarantee for Rs 6 crore. The probe agency has claimed that the trial court order was “non-speaking”. It said that even after taking note of December 18, 2018 order relating to a co-accused, the lower court reduced the condition by directing Qureshi to furnish FDR/ bank guarantee for a sum of Rs 2 crore instead of Rs 6 crore.

In a ‘non-speaking’ order, the reasons are not given. The ED and CBI had opposed before the lower court Qureshi’s plea to travel abroad on the apprehension that he may not return to face the trial. The trial court had said it was not disputed that the accused has travelled abroad in the past on many occasions with the permission of the court and except for the “apprehension” of the ED and the CBI that Qureshi may not return to face the trial or join investigation, there is “no serious contest” to his applications.

The CBI had urged the court that stringent security conditions be put as has been put by the Delhi High Court. In the application, Qureshi had sought permission of the court to travel to UAE from February 9-24 to meet buyers and attend the Gulf Food Festival for purposes of promoting and growing his business and to Lahore and Karachi in March to attend a relative’s wedding and to permit him to retain his passport between the trips to obtain visa for Pakistan.

The plea had said that the visit to Karachi and Lahore was essential for his family ties. The court had in 2017 granted him bail in a case in which the ED had alleged that Qureshi was involved in hawala transactions through Delhi-based hawala operators Parvez Ali of Turkman Gate and M/s South Delhi Money Changer (DAMINI) in Greater Kailash-1.

The ED has challenged the bail order in the high court which is pending. The CBI had lodged a case against him after the ED and Income Tax department’s probe into money laundering allegations against Qureshi, in which ongoing investigations have allegedly revealed involvement of senior public servants. The probe agency had earlier alleged that money has been sent abroad by the accused from one of the witnesses in the investigation through hawala channels in exchange for help provided to him in a CBI case.

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