A Delhi court has granted bail to Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah in a money laundering case related to alleged terror funding in Jammu and Kashmir.

The court noted that Shah was in custody for six years and 10 months in the case in which the maximum punishment was seven years.

Additional Sessions Judge Dheeraj Mor, while granting statutory bail to Shah in an order passed on June 7, observed that the other cases in which the separatist leader was in custody were very serious in nature.

“However, that cannot be a sufficient ground for declining him statutory bail, when he has not been convicted in any of the offences,” the judge said.

“Even if he is granted bail in this case, he is not likely to be released from jail in the other said offences before July 24, 2024 — the date on which the maximum punishment of seven years in the present case expires for him as an under-trial prisoner,” the judge said.

Shah had sought bail on the grounds that he had already suffered more than half of the period of the maximum punishment prescribed in the offence of money laundering in the case.

The application claimed that Shah had been in custody in the case since July 26, 2017, and he would complete his entire seven years of maximum imprisonment as an undertrial prisoner on July 25.

He also said that co-accused Mohd. Aslam Wani was acquitted of all the charges except the offence punishable under Section 25 Arms Act.

“After his acquittal in the scheduled offences (based on which the ED filed the present case), the allegations of the prosecution of generating proceeds of crime as a result of criminal activity relating to the scheduled offence did not survive,” the application claimed.

The ED had opposed the application, saying the allegations against Shah were grave and serious in nature which entailed severe punishment.

It alleged that Shah was involved in the commission of serious crimes and the generation of huge amounts of proceeds from crime from various countries, including Pakistan, to carry out unrest in Kashmir and was also found involved in terror financing activities.

The Enforcement Directorate said if released on bail, Shah may again indulge in similar criminal activities.

2024-06-15T17:03:45Z dg43tfdfdgfd