New Delhi: A special anti-money laundering court on Wednesday framed charges against Tarique Ahmed Dar who is alleged to have masterminded and funded the 2005 Diwali-eve blasts at prime Delhi markets like Sarojini Nagar and Paharganj.
The court of Special Judge at Karkardooma, P S Teji, framed charges against Dar under the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Framing of charges paves the way for trial of the case after the court is prima facie satisfied with investigations conducted by the probe agencies.
The case could well go down as the first instance of conviction for terror financing in the country.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed the charge sheet against Dar for receiving illegal funds from abroad after the Special Cell of Delhi Police probed the case.
The blast killed 67 people and injured more than 200.
The Adjudicating Authority for PMLA, in 2009, had attached Dar`s four bank accounts which had a cumulative balance of slightly under Rs six lakh as "proceeds of crime" under the PMLA.
Dar, according to the ED charge sheet of 2009, had received close to Rs five lakh from Dubai just two days prior to the blasts.
The explosions took place during the peak evening hours on October 29, 2005.
The ED charge sheet said that "Dar was the main person behind these blasts and was regularly in contact with Abu Al Kama, operative of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
The ED, in its charge sheet, had said that for initiating
and organising the bomb blasts, Dar and others received huge amounts of money from persons residing abroad.
The Directorate also found illegal transfer of funds to Dar`s accounts in a circuitous way through certain Hawala operators based in Delhi`s Chandni Chowk area.
The ED probe found that Dar received illegal funds used for financing terrorist activities through "telegraphic transfers" in his bank accounts in Jammu and Kashmir.
"...The money deposited in his bank accounts was not his legally earned money but was received for the nefarious purposes of conducting bomb blast and for waging war against the nation," the ED attachment order had said.
Under the PMLA, Dar could be sentenced to three-seven years` rigorous imprisonment for "conducting bomb blast and waging war against the nation" and committing the "crime of money laundering".