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HC notice to Moin Qureshi on CBI plea to enhance his security deposit for travelling abroad

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The High Court on Monday sought a response from controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi, accused in a cheating and corruption case, on CBI's plea to enhance from Rs 2 crore to Rs 6 crore the security amount he has to furnish to travel to the UAE and

Justice issued a notice to Qureshi seeking his reply on the plea of the probe agency which has contended that the trial court ought to have mandated higher amount as was done by the high court for a co-accused in the case.

The CBI argued the lower court order was perverse as it did not take into account the sensitivity of the case and the stringent conditions imposed on the co-accused, Pradeep Koneru, by the high court.

The agency's sought that the matter be heard on February 13 as Qureshi was scheduled to leave the country on the night of February 14-15. The high court allowed the CBI lawyer's oral request and listed the matter for February 13.

The judge, however, disapproved of the manner in which the had repeatedly urged the court for an early date of hearing.

"Just because you are for CBI does not mean you will keep arguing. I asked you to stop. You are first an of the court and then a for CBI," the said to advocate Sanjeev Bhandari, who appeared for the agency.

The high court also said that amount to be furnished as security was a discretion of the lower court and there was "no perversity" in its decision allowing Qureshi to travel abroad.

The high court further said that the lower court was "not incompetent" and the CBI ought to have come earlier with its plea.

Qureshi, on February 1, was allowed by a trial court to travel to the UAE from February 15-23 for attending the Gulf Food Festival and from March 6-20 to to attend his niece's wedding.

The trial court had directed Qureshi to furnish an additional security of Rs two crore in the form of and warned that in case of violation of any of the conditions imposed, the amount would be forfeited.

He was also asked to surrender his passport within 24 hours of his arrival in the country.

While the CBI sought enhancement of the amount, Qureshi moved an application in the trial court to reduce the security to Rs 50 lakh, the agency told the high court during the brief hearing.

The ED and the CBI had opposed before the lower court Qureshi's plea to travel abroad on the apprehension that he may not return to face the trial.

The CBI had urged the trial court that stringent security conditions be put on him as was done in the case of the co-accused by the high court.

Qureshi had sought permission of the trial court to travel to the UAE from February 9-24 to meet buyers and attend the Gulf Food Festival for purposes of promoting and growing his business and to and in March to attend a relative's wedding and to permit him to retain his passport between the trips to obtain visa for

The court had in 2017 granted him bail in a case in which the ED had alleged that Qureshi was involved in hawala transactions through Delhi-based hawala operators Parvez Ali of Turkman Gate and M/s South Money Changer (DAMINI) in Greater Kailash-1.

The ED has challenged the bail order in the high court which is pending.

The CBI had lodged a case against him after the ED and Income Tax department's probe into money laundering allegations against Qureshi, in which ongoing investigations have allegedly revealed involvement of senior public servants.

The probe agency had earlier alleged that money has been sent abroad by the accused from one of the witnesses in the investigation through hawala channels in exchange for help provided to him in a CBI case.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 11 2019. 18:00 IST