SC remands Hasan Ali Khan to ED's custody for three more days

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Supreme Court
New Delhi, Mar 21: The Supreme Court today granted three days of additional custodial interrogation to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) of Pune stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan allegedly involved in money laundering activities.

At an extraordinary hearing held at the residence of Justice Aftab Alam, the apex court extended Ali's custody with ED till Mar 25.

Justice R M Lodha also participated in the special hearing which was held at around 7.30 pm at the request of the ED as Ali''s custody was coming to an end on Mar 22.

Media persons were not allowed to cover the hearing. Though Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium appearing for the ED declined to speak, Santosh Paul, counsel for Hasan, told reporters that the investigating authorities had been given three more days custody of the accused.

He said the ED had sought at least a week's custody, but the Special Bench had declined to entertain the request and granted only three more days.

The counsel said the ED also gave an undertaking that it would give necessary medical facilities to Khan suffering from certain medical problems and also keep the court posted about the progress of his treatment.

Khan was taken into custody by ED on Mar 17 after the Supreme Court cancelled the bail granted to him by a trial court.

The ED has questioned 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.

Information on Khan's properties in the country and abroad, both in his name or benami, are also being examined by the ED after it was rapped by the Supreme Court bench of Justices B Sudershan Reddy and SS Nijjar for not subjecting him to custodial interrogation.

Subsequently, a multi-disciplinary team of officials from Income Tax department, the ED, the Economic Offences Wing of Maharashtra Police and RBI have also prepared a list of required updated information to be sought from various business associates and firms in connection with the probe.

The ED has already asked the Union Home Ministry to study the charges against Khan relating to national security. 53-year-old Khan surrendered before the ED in Mumbai on Mar 17.

A Mumbai court had on Mar 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 on March 17 while directing Khan's custodial interrogation also castigated Mumbai Principal Sessions Judge M L Tahaliyani''s order of granting bail to Khan, and said it was deeply disturbed at the manner in which the trial court judge had rejected the ED's contention and given a lengthy order for it.

PTI

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