New Delhi, March 22: Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Geelani, who advocates Jammu and Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan, has been penalised Rs 14.40 lakh under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) for illegally possessing foreign exchange of US$ 10,000 and Indian currency worth Rs 10 lakh, the Enforcement Directorate said on Friday.
Geelani had been fined following confiscation of the unaccounted foreign exchange from his premises in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, the agency said.
“The adjudication proceeding in case of Syed Ali Shah Geelani for the offence of illegally possessing foreign exchange was completed on March 20 by levying a penalty of Rs 14.40 lakh on him along with confiscation of foreign exchange of US$ 10,000,” said an ED statement.
The ED took over the case following an Income Tax Department’s complaint against Geelani. The Income tax Department had recovered and seized US$ 10,000 and Rs 10 lakh from the ground floor of the residence of Hurriyat leader Geelani at Hyderpora in Srinagar on June 9, 2002.
Jawahira, wife of Geelani, was examined by the officials after the search, in which she gave some explanations about the seized Indian currency, but could not explain about the seized foreign currency.
Also, the ED statement said, Geelani did not tender any explanation or evidence regarding lawful acquisition, holding, ownership or possession of said seized cash US$ 10,000 and Rs 10 lakh except for the verbal denial submitted by him during the investigation.
On the basis of investigation under FEMA, 1999, a complaint on June 6, 2017 was filed by the ED. Accordingly, a show-cause notice was issued to Geelani.
This case has now been adjudicated by the ED on Wednesday, said the agency.
The ED said it will also impose a penalty and confiscate the illegal acquisition of foreign exchange recovered from another separatist leader Yasin Malik, former Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF). The adjudication proceedings against Malik are in progress.