Gujarat HC grants bail to Hawala charged Fatta in forgery case

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Gujarat HC grants bail to Hawala accused Fatta in forgery caseThe Gujarat High Court on Thursday granted bail to Surat-based diamond trader Afroz Fatta in connection with an alleged case of forgery and cheating filed against him by Surat Police.

Justice J B Pardiwala of Gujarat High Court granted bail to Fatta in the case probed by Surat city crime branch, on a personal bond of Rs five lakh. However, Fatta will not be released as he is in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the Rs 5,000-crore Hawala scam.

Fatta had filed the plea before the HC on January 30 after a Surat district court rejected his bail plea in December last year. In his bail plea before the Gujarat HC, Fatta contended that the prosecution agency Surat city Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) had not mentioned a single witness in the charge sheet filed in October last year.

The charge sheet did not mention that the applicant (Fatta) deposited a single rupee in any bank account nor any proof regarding his involvement in making bogus bills were shown in it, the application said. Fatta has also demanded bail on the ground that the probe in the case is over as the charge sheet has been filed in the case. He has also contended that some accused persons have been granted bail, and therefore he should be released on the same line.

The crime branch in Surat city had in November last year filed charge sheet against Fatta in a case of forgery and cheating by opening fake bank accounts. Surat DCB had acted in tandem with the probe agency ED, which had booked Afroz Fatta and a Surat-based diamond trader Madanlal Jain in hawala scam of Rs 5,396 crore.

ED has started prosecution against Fatta and other 77 accused in a separate cases of multi-crore hawala scam. The ED had on March 21 last year busted the multi-crore Hawala racket during their search operations in Surat-based offices of some diamond traders including Fatta and Jain. ED had alleged that instead of importing diamonds, the duo made bogus import bills, claiming that they have purchased the diamonds from foreign traders.

Using these bills, it is alleged that the duo used to transfer money through their bank accounts. Thus, money went outside without a single diamond imported in India.

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