Gujarat HC Denies Interim Relief to Fatta

Denying any interim relief to Afroz Fatta, accused of sending over Rs 700 crore of 'hawala' money overseas, the Gujarat High Court today directed his sister to appear before the Enforcement Directorate on May 5 to face questioning.

Justice G R Udhvani refused to stay procedure initiated by the ED against Fatta. Fatta had also requested that ED be directed to release his bank accounts, but the court declined, adjourning the hearing to May 7.

Fatta's sister Fozia Godil had approached the court seeking cancellation of the ED's summons.

During the hearing of the applications filed by Fatta and his sister, the Union Government's lawyer contended that the documents recovered during the raids at Fatta's offices showed violation of Prevention of Money Laundering Act. A report of ED was handed over to the court in a sealed cover.

In March this year, ED had claimed to have busted a hawala racket to the tune of Rs 700 crore during searches at the Surat offices of some diamond traders.

Accordingly, Fataa and Madanlal Jain had sent Rs 700 crore outside India, showing it to be a consideration for imported diamonds, when in reality not a single diamond had been imported. Import bills were fabricated for this purpose, ED says.

Congress recently released a photograph purportedly showing BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi with Fatta, while BJP hit back with a defamation notice to Congress office-bearers.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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