The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the bail granted to Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali a Kashmiri businessman by the Delhi High Court in a terror funding. The bail was challenged by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar passed the order. Earlier, the Delhi High Court in September last year granted bail to Watali. A division bench of Justice Muralidhar and Justice Vinod Goel, after hearing the counsel for Watali and special public prosecutor for the NIA, granted bail to Watali while holding that no prima-facie case was made out against the accused. Through his counsel Shariq Reyaz, Watali had challenged before the Delhi High Court order of a trial court on June 8 that had rejected his bail plea.
He has been lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail after his arrest in August 2017.
Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached assets worth Rs 1.03 crore belonging to Watali, in a money laundering case related to funding of terror organisations in Jammu and Kashmir. “The agency has issued a provisional order for attachment of assets of Watali under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The Enforcement Directorate (ED) case is based on a charge sheet filed by the NIA as part of its probe against Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed,” official said.
The investigating agency raided Watali’s premises in June 2017 and August 2017, and claimed to have found “highly incriminating material pertaining to the receipt of funds by Watali from foreign sources, and its further distribution to terrorists and separatists in Kashmir Valley for anti-India activities”.