Delhi LG grants CBI sanction to prosecute Amantullah Khan in waqf case

PTI, Jul 17, 2022, 9:00 PM IST

Image credit: Amantullah Khan Twitter handle

New Delhi: Lt Governor VK Saxena has granted the CBI sanction to prosecute AAP MLA and Delhi Waqf Board Chairman Amantullah Khan in a case registered against him in 2016 over alleged illegal appointments, official sources said Sunday.

They said besides Khan, prosecution sanction has also been granted against then Waqf Board CEO Mehboob Aalam for offences including ”deliberate and criminal violation” of rules, regulations and law and ”misuse of position” and causing financial losses to the exchequer.

A Delhi government revenue department’s sub-divisional magistrate (headquarters) had in November 2016 filed a complaint alleging ”arbitrary and illegal” appointments by Khan to various existing and non-existing posts in the Waqf Board.

Khan, the MLA from Okhla, said on Sunday he has done no wrong and was not worried.

”What corruption was there in recruitments? I did not take money or snatch anyone’s rights,” he told PTI on Sunday after the sanction was granted.

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party also reacted sharply to the development, claiming the party and its leaders are being targeted by the BJP government through ”totally crass and baseless allegations”.

The CBI had in March this year questioned Khan for several hours in connection with the case.

The sources said on the SDM’s complaint, the CBI had registered a case and conducted investigations that revealed ”sufficient prosecutable evidence”, following which it had sought prosecution sanction from the LG in May this year.

”As per investigation of the CBI, Khan, in connivance with Aalam, abused his official position and arbitrarily appointed individuals by manipulating recruitment procedures to favour chosen individuals over thousands of deserving people who could have got employed, had the process of appointment been transparent and impartial,” a source said. The sources said the CBI investigations found that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute Khan and Aalam under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

Khan’s current term as the chairman of Delhi Waqf Board is his third. He was elected on the post last time in November 2020.

In October 2020, the revenue department, under which the Delhi Waqf Board comes, had conducted a special audit into alleged ”irregularities” by Khan during his tenure from March 2016 to March 2020.

Further, in March this year four members out of the total seven of the Board had submitted a no-confidence letter to the then LG Anil Baijal against Khan accusing him of ”illegal” recruitment and ”high handedness”. In its reaction, the AAP said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is so ”scared” of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s ”rise in Indian political arena that he gets horrified by the thought of AAP even in his dreams”. ”The Prime Minister and the BJP have started hating the Kejriwal Government’s world-renowned work so much that they have started to put totally crass and baseless allegations upon the party and its leaders,” the party said in a statement. ”We completely anticipate and expect many more such allegations to come up in coming days. But the Kejriwal Government stands unfazed and will not deter on its mission to serve the people of Delhi.”

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