Deposit Rs 14.40 lakh; ED sends reminder to separatist SAS Geelani



NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate sent a reminder to pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani to deposit a penalty of Rs 14.40 lakh levied on him in a 19-year-old case of illegal possession of USD 10,000 in alleged contravention of the foreign exchange law, officials said on Wednesday.

The reminder was sent to Geelaniin a case in which foreign currency, equalling about Rs 6.90 lakh, was also confiscated by the agency as part of an order issued under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

The foreign currency was seized during an Income Tax raid at Geelani’s residence in Srinagar’s Hyderpora area in 2002.

The case against Geelani, 91, was adjudicated, and penalty and confiscation order issued in 2019 by a special director of the agency, who is entrusted to adjudicate the FEMA cases.

Since the amount had not been submitted so far, the ED sent a reminder to Geelani, former chairman of the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference, asking him to pay the amount at the earliest.

The ED took up the case after taking cognisance of the Income Tax report and also issued summons to Geelani to appear before it in Srinagar.

Geelani’s counsel had then submitted a written reply and “denied” the recovery of foreign currency from his residence and the subsequent seizure.

Under the FEMA, foreign exchange dealings are regulated in India and acquisition and possession of foreign exchange by resident Indians are required to be conducted in accordance with the general or special permission.

“Geelani did not have any such permission or bona fide explanation for acquisition and possession of the foreign currency.”

“Therefore, he has been asked to show cause to the adjudicating officer under FEMA within 30 days as to why the recovered currency should not be confiscated and penalty imposed on him,” the agency had said earlier.

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