In a new development, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to Zakir Naik. The order is part of the ongoing investigations against the controversial preacher and the organization he operates, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). The charges have been made under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). As per the summons, Zakir Naik will have to appear before the agency by the end of January. ED intends to record Zakir’s statement related to the case, and the summons have been issued because Zakir is currently staying abroad. Separate summons have also been issued against his organization IRF.
The criminal case against Naik and IRF was registered last month by ED, based on a complaint filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The complaint was filed under anti-terror laws, alleging that Zakir Naik and IRF were involved in promoting enmity between different religious groups. Illegal funds were allegedly used for this purpose. After going through confiscated documents, officials came across some ‘doubtful’ banking transaction, based on which the case was registered last month.
The various charges leveled against Zakir Naik include section 153-A of IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), section 10 (being member of an unlawful organization), 13 (punishment for being member of illegal organization) and 18 (punishment for being involved in a conspiracy for committing any terror act) of UAPA.