Delhi Waqf Board Case: Court Sends AAP MLA Amanatulah Khan To 14-Days Judicial Custody

Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan was arrested by Delhi Police's Anti Corruption Branch for alleged irregularities in Delhi Waqf Board.

Amanatullah Khan

A Delhi court on Monday sent Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Amanatullah Khan to 14-day judicial custody in the alleged Delhi Waqf Board corruption case.

Special Judge Vikas Dhull passed the order for the judicial custody and posted the bail hearing for Khan on Tuesday. Earlier on September 21, the court had extended the custodial interrogation of Khan by five days

Khan was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) —a unit of Delhi Police— on September 16 following raids at Khan's and his aides' properties. Cash and weapons were recovered during the raids, according ot ACB.

Khan is accused of wrongful recruitment in the Delhi Waqf Board during his tenure as its chairman. It's also alleged that he misappropriated funds of Waqf Board comprising grants-in-aid from the Delhi government. 

The Waqf Board case against Amanatullah Khan

Khan recruited 32 people in violation of norms and government guidelines during his tenure as the Delhi Waqf Board Chairman, according to the ACB's FIR.

It alleges that these recruitments were a result of corruption and favouritism.

The then CEO of Delhi Waqf Board had clearly given statement and issued memorandum against such illegal recruitment, according to ACB.

"Further, it was alleged that as chairman of Delhi Waqf Board, Khan has rented out a number of properties of the Waqf Board illegally with allegations of corruption and favouritism. Further, it has been alleged that he has misappropriated the funds of the Waqf Board comprising grants in aid from Delhi government," said Additional Commissioner of Police Madhur Verma, who heads the ACB.

The ACB also said it recovered two firearms and around Rs 24 lakhs in cash during the raids earlier this month.

"The officials recovered one beretta weapon and some cartridges along with Rs 12 lakh in cash during the raid [at a business partner of Khan]...The police also recovered Rs 12 lakh cash as well as a weapon and live cartridges from Kausar Imam Siddiqui, who is an AAP worker and a close associate of Amanatullah Khan," reported India Today

The politics over the case

Amanatullah Khan is the latest AAP leader to come under the scanner of federal investigative agencies, which are already investigating Satyender Jain and Manish Sisodia in a money laundering case and Delhi Excise Policy case. There has been controversy over a procurement by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) as well. 

The AAP has described all of these ongoing investigations as Narendra Modi's Union government's misuse of agencies for political benefits. Observers have seen this as the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) attempt to strike where it could hurt most.

The AAP as a party and movement rose on an anti-corruption blank and, by accusing it of corruption and implicating its leaders in corruption cases, the objective of BJP of discrediting the AAP gets fulfilled. This comes ahead of elections in Gujarat where AAP aims to embarrass the BJP as retaining the state would be a prestige issue of the BJP as it's the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Delhi is also expected to have civic body elections in the near future, so the agencies' actions and battle of narrative gets important.

While the BJP is trying to corner AAP with its narrative, the AAP too is working on one — at least within Delhi.

Outlook earlier reported, "The allegations, though have no doubt affected the clean image of Arvind Kejriwal. Political observers note that, at the end of the day, people vote for better infrastructures. AAP’s recent Kuda Virodh Yatra significantly pointed out the hills of waste in the hearts of Delhi. While BJP uses its tactics of pushing Kejriwal through allegations of corruptions, for BJP the mole on the waste-hills would be its anti-incumbency and allegedly ineffective administration in the upcoming MCD polls."

(With PTI inputs)