The prosecutor appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday asked the Kashmiri dissident leader Shabir Shah, inside the court room, to chant ‘bharat mata ki jai’ to prove his patriotism. The judge, however, snubbed the over enthusiastic lawyer saying it was not a television studio.
Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma chided the lawyer for his remark and later allowed the ED’s plea for extension by six days for sixty-four-year-old Shah's custodial interrogation in a decade-old money laundering case.
The ED's counsel Rajeev Awasthi alleged that Shah was ruining the country by using the money to fund terror and breached the line by daring the dissident leader to chant 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' to prove his patriotism.
However, an anguished judge stopped him, warning that the courtroom was not a “television studio.” “Argue on the merits of the case,” said the judge.
During the proceedings, the ED submitted that foreign funds were used for “terror activities” including stone pelting on the security agencies in the Valley. The agency told the court that the source of funding of properties of Shah, worth hundreds of crores of rupees, had to be unearthed.
The prosecutor told the court that Shah, arrested on 25 July in the money laundering, was “totally non-cooperative” during his questioning by the ED.
Advocate M S Khan, appearing for Shah, however, alleged that his client was being pressured and compelled to give various statements during his custody by ED officials. He opposed the submission made by the agency, saying that it was not revealing the complete facts before the court.
The agency said there was a need to probe a lot of cash transactions which were used for terror activities and stone pelting causing huge inconvenience in the Valley.
Shah was arrested by the ED a day after several Hurriyat leaders were taken into custody of the National Investigating Agency (NIA) in a case of alleged terror funding in the Valley to fuel unrest.
He was taken into custody in the August 2005 case in which the Special Cell of Delhi Police had arrested Mohammed Aslam Wani (35), an alleged hawala dealer, claiming that Rs 63 lakh was recovered from Wani out of which Rs 52 lakh was alleged to be delivered to Shah.
The agency had earlier issued summonses to Shah in the case, the prosecution had said, adding that Wani had claimed that he had given Rs 2.25 crore to Shah.
Investigating agencies like the NIA has cracked down on Hurriyat leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani's son-in-law -- Altaf Ahmed Shah, also known as Altaf Fantoosh -- and six other Kashmiri dissidents.