Millennium Post

ED penalty on Bihar Legislative Council deputy chairman

Enforcement Directorate has imposed a penalty of Rs 13.62 lakh each on JD(U) MLC and Bihar Legislative Council Deputy Chairman Saleem Perwez and jailed former RJD MP Mohammad Shahabuddin on Monday for violations of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

ED sources here said the penalty had been imposed on the two under Sections 3(a) and 4 of FEMA for unauthorised dealing in foreign exchange and possessing foreign currency. Both of them were found guilty by ED during adjudication of a case of 2005, the sources said.

The ED has also ordered 'absolute confiscation' of 7,600 US dollars, 10,540 dirhams and 800 Saudi riyals worth Rs 4.54 lakh at the time, seized from Shahabuddin's house during a police raid in 2005.
"The police had transferred the case to Customs, which handed it over to ED. It was transferred to ED Patna Zonal Office for adjudication and imposition of penalty as dealing in foreign exchange could only be done with RBI permission," said an ED official on condition of anonymity.

During the probe into the case, Shahabuddin had said the seized foreign exchange had been given to him by Perwez.

"Perwez was summoned and he said in a statement that he was an NRI living in Saudi Arabia at the time and had given the money to Shahabuddin as a donation to his 'Islamia Trust'.

He also accepted that he was a working committee member of the trust," the ED official said. During the second summon by ED, Perwez, who was elected deputy chairman of the legislative council on March 30, 2011, had changed his statement and said Shahabuddin had gone to Saudi Arabia in August 2003 where he got the money as 'zakat' (donations).

Shahabuddin, he said, had handed over the money to him for safekeep, as he (Shahabuddin) had to go somewhere else.
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