Dr Zakir Naik in hot waters

Dr Zakir Naik in hot waters

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) in India has issued potentially its final summons to Islamic preacher Zakir Naik in connection with its money laundering probe case against him and others.

Officials said the agency issued its fourth summons to Naik, via his lawyer and through email, to be present for the probe, even as it rejected his plea to depose before investigators via an Internet-based video link from abroad.

They indicated that the latest summons could well possibly be the last issued to him and the agency may move the court for an arrest warrant against him, if he again chooses to ignore the summons.

The ED officials had earlier indicated their inability to allow the video link proposal as such a remedy was not permitted under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Moreover, they said the agency wants to question Naik “in person” given the serious charges of money laundering being investigated against him and others.

Naik, through his lawyer, had made a proposal to depose via video link some days back even as he understood that he could be arrested by the agency like his aide Aamir Gazdar.

“My client is willing and ready to give any statement before you via Skype or any other mode of electronic media to assist you in your investigation,” a letter sent by Naik, also the founder of the non-governmental organisation, the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), through his lawyer Mahesh Mule had said.