Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday moved a special PMLA court here, seeking issuance of non- bailable warrant (NBW) against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.
Special Judge P R Bhavke of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)court is likely to start hearing ED’s arguments from today.
In its application filed through advocate Hiten Venegoankar, the ED sought the NBW against Naik saying that the preacher has not joined the investigation so far.
The central probe agency also said although Naik was served summons repeatedly, he has failed to appear before it.
It said Naik needed to be question him in connection with money laundering.
In February this year, the ED had arrested Naik’s close aide Aamir Gazdar.
The ED registered a criminal case against Naik and others last December after taking cognisance of an NIA complaint under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The ED is looking into the charges of alleged illegal funds laundered by the accused in the case and the subsequent proceeds of crime thus generated.
Naik, 51, who is said to be staying in Saudi Arabia to evade arrest after some perpetrators of the Dhaka terror strike last year claimed they were inspired by him, has been booked along with unnamed IRF officials under section 153-A of IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony) beside various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Naik had responded to the ED summons and had said he was willing to give a statement via any electronic media facility as he faces an “extremely hostile environment and atmosphere in India, which makes a fair probe against him impossible”.