Friday, March 25, 2011

Hasan Ali remanded in judicial custody

Mumbai, March 25, 2011

Pune stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan on Friday alleged that he was getting threats from Kolkata businessman Kashinath Tapuria, a co-accused in the money laundering case, after he was remanded in judicial custody by a sessions court till April 8.

Outside the court, Mr. Khan told reporters that he was getting threats from Mr. Tapuria, his alleged associate in money laundering activities.

Mr. Khan also alleged that he was being framed in the case by Mr. Tapuria, who was arrested on Thursday by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Clad in white kurta-pyjama, 53-year-old Khan was produced before Principal Sessions Judge Swapna Joshi who remanded him in judicial custody after ED counsel Ujjwal Nikam submitted that they did not need Khan's custody at this moment.

Mr. Nikam contended that the ED reserved the right to press for his custody at a later date. This was opposed by Khan's lawyer I.P. Bagadia.

However, the court said the issue could be decided later and as of now the accused was being remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.

Mr. Khan was taken into custody by the ED on March 17 after the Supreme Court cancelled the bail granted to him by a trial court. On March 21, the apex court had ordered his custody to the ED for an additional three days.

The ED has questioned Mr. Khan, facing close to Rs 70,000 crore tax demand notice from the Income-Tax Department, with regard to his past trips to various countries and his business dealings within the country.

Tapuria was arrested in Mumbai on Thursday after three days of questioning. He had earlier denied having any links with Khan.

Tapuria was later produced before a Mumbai sessions court which remanded him in ED custody till March 30.

A Mumbai court had on March 11 rejected the ED's plea for custodial interrogation of Khan on the ground that the agency had not gathered sufficient evidence or made any case to justify its plea for Khan's custodial interrogation.

The apex court had on March 17, while directing Khan's custodial interrogation, criticised Mumbai Principal Sessions Judge M.L. Tahaliyani's order of granting bail to Khan, saying it was "deeply disturbed" over the manner in which the trial court judge had rejected the ED's contention and given a lengthy order for it.

The ED had told the apex court that it was in possession of incriminating evidence against Khan showing that he has stashed huge amount of black money in various banks abroad.

It alleged Mr. Khan had withdrawn about 60,000 dollars from a Swiss bank and cited communications from Swiss official sources to back its allegation.

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