Rahat Fateh Ali Khan released but can’t leave India

Last Updated: Feb 14, 2011, 20:51 PM IST

Spicezee Bureau

New Delhi: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Monday, released noted Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and his two associates, after interrogating them for more than 24 hours in connection with the recovery of huge sums of undeclared foreign currency from their possession.

Rahat, the 37-year-old nephew of legendary Pakistani qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, was detained at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Sunday on the charge that he and his associates Maroof and Chitresh Srivastava were carrying USD 124,000 (about Rs 60 lakh) in undeclared foreign currency.

As per norms, a foreign national cannot carry beyond USD 5,000 in cash and USD 5,000 in other instruments.

Prior to their release, the DRI impounded their passports and has asked them not to leave India without permission.

Moreover, they have been asked to present themselves before the investigators on Feb 17.

However, it is not yet clear as to on what basis have they been released.

As per reports, there is a strong case against Rahat and his associates, while some other reports suggest that Rahat was released after an assurance by the Pakistan High Commission that he will cooperate with the probe.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir asked India to immediately end the "protective custody" of the singer. Bashir also spoke with the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad and urged that the singer be released.