A Delhi court on Wednesday framed money laundering charges against 2020 Delhi Riots accused Tahir Hussain and paved the way for trial.
Hussain is a former leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and is accused to be a key figure in riots in Northeast Delhi in February 2020.
On November 3, the court had passed an order on framing of charges against Hussain in a money-laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
"Accordingly, a charge for the offence under section 3 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, punishable under section 4 of the PMLA, is framed against accused Tahir Hussain, read over and explained to him to which he pleaded not guilty and claimed trial," said Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat.
Section 3 of the PMLA defines the offence of money laundering. The court has posted the matter for further proceedings on February 10.
The court had earlier said there was "prima facie sufficient material on record, creating grave suspicion against Hussain" for framing charges.
The court had said Hussain fraudulently withdrew money from the accounts of certain companies owned or controlled by him through bogus and malafide transactions. It added that bogus entry operators used fake bills and made him the beneficiary, with the intent of using the money for putting it to use towards the riots.
The Delhi Police had registered three FIRs in connection with the Delhi riots against Hussain and others under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Based on the said offences, inquiries were initiated under the PMLA and the ED had registered an enforcement case information report on March 9, 2020.
Meanwhile, the court posted the hearing on Hussain's application seeking custody parole on medical grounds to January 21. During the proceedings, the Tihar jail authorities submitted a report to the court stating Hussain requires a cataract surgery in his left eye. The court had sought Hussain's medical report on January 7.
Earlier, a Delhi court in a separate Delhi Riots case framed charges against Hussain and others.
On November 5, a Delhi court framed charges of attempts to murder, rioting, criminal conspiracy, and statements leading to public mischief, against Hussain and seven others, according to The Times of India.
Framing the charges, the court said the evidence so far shows Hussain was instigating mobs against Hindus and that the mob attacked Hindus and wanted to kill them.
The ToI quoted the court as saying, "It is also well apparent that this mob kept indulging into the firing of gunshots, pelting of stones, acid and petrol bombs towards Hindus and houses of Hindus. These acts of the mob make it clear that their objective was to harm Hindus in their body and property to the maximum possible extent. Indiscriminate firing at others makes it clear that this mob consciously wanted to even kill Hindus.
The court further said Tahir and other were "instigating others to teach a lesson to Hindus and not to leave them".
A number of people equipped with firing weapons, acid and petrol bombs assembled at the house of Hussain, noted the court, as per ToI.
"All these things were done to target Hindus. Every member of the mob assembled there, participated in achieving and encouraging others, to target Hindus. Such conduct of the members of this mob shows that they were acting out of the meeting of their mind and with a clear-cut objective in mind, to kill and harm Hindus," said the court, as per ToI.
(With PTI inputs)