After being rapped by a local court for not doing its “homework”, the Enforcement Directorate today took the line that “certain links” of Hasan Ali Khan needed to be probed as it has a bearing on “national security” and pressed for his 14-day custodial interrogation.
The ED also cited alleged non-cooperation by the 53-year-old Pune-based businessman and stud farm owner in its probe into the money laundering charges to seek his remand.
A day after it was rebuked by Principal Sessions Court Judge M L Tahaliyani for not doing its “homework” to make a proper case against Khan that warranted his custody, the ED today presented to the court in a sealed cover what it claimed was evidence to link him to various offences and sought his remand.
Rajiv Awasthi, a Delhi lawyer, who appeared for the ED, said the probe was moving in “a positive direction” and stressed the need for Khan’s remand to “bridge the gap in the investigation”.
Awasthi said Khan had been arrested by the ED because he had not cooperated in the probe during which he was called to their office 29 times, 18 of those for answering questions relating to violations of Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
“We have to question him about certain links, documents and statements. We also have to submit a status report to the Supreme Court on March 18,” the ED counsel said.
While seeking Khan’s remand, the ED had cited his links to international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi and insisted that those required to be probed “as it has a bearing on national security as well”.
Khan has been charged with stashing USD 8 billion in the UBS, Switzerland, though the bank has claimed that documents seized by the investigating agencies during raids on his premises could be forged and said it had no relationship with him.
Defence counsel I P Bagadia opposed ED’s demand for Khan’s custody, saying simply because a status report has to be submitted to the Supreme Court (in relation to a PIL seeking repatriation of black money stashed abroad) Khan could not be sent to custody.
He said when Khan was arrested by Mumbai police in the fake passport case in 2009, the ED has submitted an application seeking permission to investigate the case but had not prayed for his custody.
Khan is also accused of having secured multiple passports using fake and forged documents.
Tahaliyani later adjourned the hearing and is likely to decide on whether any offence is made out against Khan under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act tomorrow.