Wednesday, April 27, 2011

ED continues to grill Puducherry guv


Puducherry, Apr 26 :

Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials continued to grill Puducherry Lt Governor Iqbal Singh on Tuesday over his suspected links with India’s alleged biggest tax evader Hasan Ali Khan.

 A four-member ED team started questing Singh at 10.30am at Raj Rivas here.

The interrogation is being videographed, said sources.

Singh was questioned for five hours on Monday.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Apr 19 permitted the ED Singh.

On Apr 18, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram met Singh and said the LT Governor is willing to make a statement to the ED on the issue.

Singh has already admitted to helping Ali get a passport in a letter written to the home ministry.

However, he reportedly denied having any links with the Pune-based businessman and claimed to have only recommended his name for the passport based on a plea made by Congress leader Amalendu Pandey on Apr 4, 1997.

He added that he does not know Ali personally, has never met him and had only made the plea based on “compassionate/health grounds”, reports said.

Singh on Apr 15 had been issued summons by the ED in connection with stud farm owner Hasan Ali procuring passport using forged papers and some foreign investments.

Another big shot, Uttar Pradesh Principal Secretary Vijay Shankar Pandey, who was removed from his post on Apr 16 after reports of alleged links with Ali, is also expected to be called for questioning by the ED by this week.

The names of Singh and Pandey had emerged following the questioning of Bihar Congress politician Amalendu Pandey by the ED regarding procurement of a passport by Ali from Patna using forged papers.

Kolkata businessman Kashinath Tripathi, a close aide of Ali and also in ED custody now, may also have to face ED questioning again over fresh leads that emerged following the Bihar politician's questioning.

Dubbed the country's highest tax evader, Ali is currently in ED’s custody facing charges of massive money laundering and stashing away black money in foreign banks


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