The Anti-Corruption Branch of Delhi Wednesday wrote to the Lieutenant Governor secretariat seeking the removal of AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan from the post of Delhi Waqf Board Chairman and alleged that his “criminal and bullying” nature is “obstructing free and fair investigation and preventing witnesses from coming out against him”, said officials.
Special Commissioner of Police (ACB) S K Gautam, in a letter dated July 29 to the L-G secretariat, said, “The witnesses are afraid of Khan, an AAP MLA, due to his aggressive behaviour and his position in the Delhi Waqf Board. Accordingly, the ACB has sought Khan’s removal from the post till the conclusion of the investigation in the case which pertains to financial bungling in the bank accounts of the Waqf Board, creation of tenancy in the board’s properties, corruption in the purchase of vehicles and illegal appointment of 33 personnel in violation of the service rules, among others.”
The case was filed in 2016 following a complaint from Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Headquarters), Revenue department alleging that appointments to various existing and non-existing posts by Khan in Delhi Waqf Board were arbitrary and illegal. An FIR in this regard was registered by the ACB in January 2020 under section 7 of the PC Act and section 120 B of the IPC.
According to information shared by the L-G office sources, the ACB in the letter said, “Fair investigation can’t be conducted as long as Khan continues to hold his post… It has been noticed that witnesses are not coming out openly due to his aggressive behaviour and his position in the Waqf Board.”
Meanwhile, the AAP said they were unaware of such a letter. “Was PM Narendra Modi removed from his post when the Rafale deal was being investigated? Is there any such provision?” an official said.
ACB officials said that till date, there are 23 criminal cases against Khan, of which two are pending trial, and seven are pending investigation with various police stations, including one with the CBI.
The ACB letter comes in the wake of a report submitted by the Investigating Officer in the case elucidating alleged threats from Khan to the witnesses in the case.
“The matter of tenancies, expenditure and bank account signatories is being taken up for gathering supporting evidence,” said the IO, adding that Khan has allegedly misbehaved with the then CEOs of the Delhi Waqf Board. The witnesses examined are under extreme duress due to Khan’s criminal nature, the report alleged. Officials said that Khan allegedly forcibly removed important documents from their residence.
Khan did not respond to calls and messages seeking a comment.
The L-G had in July also given prosecution sanction to the CBI to proceed against the Okhla MLA, and former CEO and retired IPS officer Mehboob Alam, for alleged corruption related to illegal appointments in the Waqf Board.
In the meantime, an order dated August 9 by the L-G said that Special Commisioner Gautam was transferred and asked him to report to PHQ for further posting.