ED issues notice to Geelani in foreign cash seizure

Syed Ali Shah Geelani

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday issued a show cause notice to Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in connection with a case of alleged seizure of foreign currency worth $10,000 from his residence.

The agency’s investigation pertains to the alleged seizure of the foreign currency from Geelani’s Srinagar’s Hyderpora residence by the Income Tax Department in 2002.

“Geelani has been asked to show cause to the adjudicating officer under FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) within 30 days to prove why the recovered currency should not be confiscated and penalty imposed on him,” an ED official said.

The agency had issued a similar notice to Geelani in March following inputs from the Income Tax department but he did not respond. His counsel submitted a written reply and denied the recovery of foreign currency from his residence and the seizure.

Following further summons, Geelani’s chartered accountant submitted the appeal documents confirming the recovery and seizure of foreign currency, an ED statement said, adding however the separatist leader failed to furnish legitimate source for its acquisition and possession, thus making himself liable for action under FEMA.

According to FEMA, foreign exchange dealings are regulated in India. The acquisition and possession of foreign exchange by Indian residents are required to be conducted in accordance with the general or special permission, the ED official said.

“Geelani did not have any such permission or bonafide explanation for acquisition and possession. Therefore a show cause notice has been issued against him,” the official added

Geelani heads the hardline faction of the Hurriyat and advocates the merger of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan.