Fresh case against Vipin Khanna; passport not to be released

 
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New Delhi, Nov 12 (UNI) Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium told the Supreme Court that the government has been advised by the CBI not to release the passport of NRI Vipin Khanna, against whom a fresh case has been registered in connection with his alleged involvement in the Defence procurement deals.

Mr Vipin Khanna is a close relative of former External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh facing investigation for his alleged involvement in the oil-for-food scam.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal, Mr Justice C K Thakker and Mr Justice R V Raveendran was informed on November 10 that a fresh case has been registered by the CBI against the petitioner Vipin Khanna, whose passport has already been seized by the authorities as his companies are under investigation for offences under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

The court adjourned the hearing for four weeks at the request of the former Attorney General Soli J Sorabjee appearing for the petitioner on the grounds that his client could not join the investigation due to heart attack suffered by him and hopefully the issue would be settled within next four weeks.

It may be noted here that Mr Natwar Singh and his son Jagat Singh, a Rajasthan MLA, are also facing heat for their alleged involvement in the scam which was exposed by the Volcker committee report.

Mr Andaleeb Sehgal is the main suspect in the scandal which took place in 2001 during the regime of Saddam Hussain in Iraq.

Justice R S Pathak Authority in its report had given clean chit to the Congress and also absolved Mr Natwar Singh of the charges of taking any financial benefits but Mr Andaleeb Sehgal and Mr Jagat Singh were, however, indicted by the Authority headed by former Chief Justice of India.

Mr Vipin Khanna had moved the apex court for release of his passport. Mr Sorabjee said on Friday that his client would talk to the CBI separately in respect of registration of another case.

The accused are facing allegations of receiving illegal payments running in several crores and ill-gotten money was tansferred to accounts of M/s Hamdaan Exports owned and controlled by Mr Andaleeb Sehgal, a close relative of Mr Natwar Singh who had to resign as the Exernal Affairs minister aftere the exposure.

UNI AKS/SC MS HT1317

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