A special court on 20 May took cognisance of the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) charge sheet against Nawab Malik to say the NCP minister was knowingly involved in the money laundering and criminal conspiracy with the gang of fugitive criminal Dawood Ibrahim and others to usurp the Goawala compound in Maharashtra’s Kurla. The court has issued process against 1993 bomb blasts case accused Sardar Shahwali Khan, who has been named in the case, as well as Malik.
During its probe, the ED had recorded the statement of Khan, who is serving life imprisonment for the 1993 serial blasts, in December. The ED claims that Khan has said in his statement that Patel was a close associate of Parkar and took every decision regarding the Kurla property on her instructions.
The ED has referred to Khan’s statement claiming that several rounds of meetings were held with regard to the property, where an agreement was reached between Malik and Parkar, where he had agreed to pay Rs 55 lakh to her, Rs 15 lakh to Patel, and Rs 5 lakh to Khan. Patel and Parkar have both died since.
The ED has also included details in the charge sheet claiming that Malik had first occupied a tenanted property at the compound by using his clout.
Khan has claimed that Malik was trying to get control over a tenanted property in the compound being used as a godown, owned by one Kanchwala. “In 1992, there was a flood in Kurla and none could approach the godown. Mr Nawab Malik and his brother Aslam Malik took advantage of the situation and occupied this property illegally as Mr Nawab Malik was muscleman of the locality, Kanchwala could not do anything; later on, this tenancy was regularised in the name of Mr Aslam Malik,” the ED charge sheet claims.
The ED charge sheet includes statements of 17 witnesses, including Dawood’s brother Iqbal Kaskar, and Parkar’s son Alishah Parkar, who has referred to transactions between his mother and Dawood till her death in 2014 and the sale of the property to Malik.
The ED had arrested Malik in February, accusing him of entering a land deal of the Goawala compound with Parkar through her associate Salim Patel. The property was allegedly usurped from the original owners and sold to a company connected to Malik, the ED alleges.
The agency has claimed in its charge sheet that Parkar was a member of Dawood’s gang, D-company, which was involved in “unauthorised possession/acquisition of key assets for raising terror funds”, including the Goawala compound. The ED says that Malik, in connivance with the gang members, “hatched a criminal conspiracy” to usurp the property.
“Accused Nawab Malik in connivance with D-Company members that is Hasina Parkar, Salim Patel and Sardar Khan, hatched a criminal conspiracy for usurping the prime property belonging to Mrs Munira Plumber,” Special Judge Rahul R Rokade noted.
The court said further that hence, the property usurped by Malik in connivance with Parkar (late sister of gangster Dawood Ibrahim) and others must be seen as proceeds of crime under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. “There is prima facie evidence to indicate that the accused is directly and knowingly involved in money laundering offence,” the special judge said.
Malik, through a surveyor, had conducted a study of the illegal tenants he had introduced at Goawala compound and taken the help of Sardar Shahwali Khan for coordinating with the surveyor, the ED charge sheet against him said.
Now lodged in the Arthur Road Jail, Malik had had several meetings with Parkar along with Sardar Khan to plan to usurp the compound, said the ED in its charge sheet.
The ED has said that it had included Khan’s statement in its charge sheet as being a part of the meetings. The ED says that the four had “criminally conspired” and taken unauthorised possession of the property from its owner Munira Plumber by misguiding her and forging a power of attorney in favour of Patel. Malik is alleged to have acquired control of the property from Patel by making the payments mentioned above, without any money being paid to Plumber, the ED alleges.
Malik’s lawyers had denied any wrongdoing, claiming that their client was a victim since a person who did not possess title to the property had sold it to him. During arguments in the court, Malik’s lawyers had also raised an issue with the ED’s reliance on Khan’s statement, who himself is a convict in a case.