Nearly two months after being quizzed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), a local court in Srinagar has summoned former Chief Minister and president of National Conference Dr. Farooq Abdullah in the infamous Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) scam.
Taking cognizance of the complaint filed by the ED against Abdullah and others in the J&K Cricket Association (JKCA) money laundering case, the Principal District and Sessions Judge, Srinagar issued the summons for appearing on August 27.
According to a news agency, before issuing the summons, the Court listened to Additional Solicitor General Tahir Majid Shamsi, representing the ED, and also perused records produced by the agency in the much-publicized scam.
Earlier grilled by ED in the same scam
Earlier the Enforcement Directorate on May 31 questioned Dr. Farooq Abdullah for more than three hours in connection with a money-laundering case linked to alleged financial irregularities in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association.
The ED had summoned Dr. Abdullah in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) scam. This was the third time Dr. Abdullah, who was the president of the JKCA from 2001 to 2011, was questioned by the ED.
Dr. Abdullah was questioned in 2019 and 2020 by the ED, which is investigating the alleged misappropriation of funds by the JKCA.
History J&K Cricket Association scam
The scam came to light ten years ago when Muhammad Aslam Goni, the then JKCA managing committee chairman, lodged an FIR with the police on March 10, 2012, against Ahsan Mirza and Mohammad Saleem Khan - the then JKCA general secretary and chief administrative officer respectively - accusing the duo of pushing the funds into bogus bank accounts created in the name of the association.
From 2006 to 2012, the Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) had given a whopping amount of Rs 113 crore to the Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association as a grant for the promotion of cricket in J&K. Of this, Rs. 43.69 crore was allegedly siphoned off and misappropriated by some office-bearers of the Association.
It was alleged that during this period, the then president of Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association Dr. Farooq Abdullah connived with the treasurer of JKCA and others to siphon off the funds. Mir Manzoor Gazanfar, who resigned as the treasurer of JKCA in 2008, had claimed that Dr. Abdullah visited his hotel in Srinagar and made him sign blank cheques.
Gazanfar alleged that Dr. Farooq Abdullah came with Ehsan Mirza, the then general secretary of JKCA, and forced him (Gazanfar) to sing some blank cheques.
Ehsan Mirza is also accused of defrauding the association of over Rs 30 crore after allegedly opening bogus bank accounts on its behalf. He was later sacked on charges of embezzlement. He, however, claims that he has been made a scapegoat.
- In 2015, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court handed over the investigation of the alleged scam to the CBI while indicting the state police for failing to carry out the probe in which Dr. Farooq Abdullah was named.
- The CBI had in 2018 filed a chargesheet against four, including Farooq Abdullah, who was the president of the state cricket board over alleged misappropriation of funds amounting to Rs 43.69 crore by the accused office bearers.
- On October 21, 2020, Dr. Farooq Abdullah appeared before the Enforcement Directorate's regional office in Rajbagh in Srinagar's Civil Lines.
- The Enforcement Directorate attached properties worth Rs 11.86 crore linked to Dr. Farooq Abdullah in connection with the scam on December 19, 2020.
- The attached assets included property at Gupkar Road, Srinagar, a property at Tehsil Katipora, Tanmarg, a property at Bhatindi in Jammu, and one commercial property at Residency Road area of Srinagar.
- On May 31, 2022, ED again grilled Dr. Farooq Abdullah in same scam for over three hours.