Blackmoney: SC threatens to bail out Hasan Ali
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Last Updated: Thursday, August 18, 2011, 13:20
  
New Delhi: Irked by the absence of any senior central law officer during the hearing of Enforcement Directorate plea to cancel Hasan Ali Khan's bail in a money laundering case, the Supreme Court on Thursday threatened to vacate its stay on his bail.

A bench of justices Altamas Kabir, Cyriac Joseph and S S NIjjar vent its ire while rejecting the plea by a central government counsel that Additional Solicitor General Haren Rawal, who was to appear before the bench, was busy in another court.

"We don't want any such thing. You are playing with the life and liberty of a person. This is unfair on your part to obtain a stay and then cite some excuses," Justice Kabir heading the bench said.

The apex court said it was not a mere question of ASG but even the Attorney General G E Vahanvati was present on August 16 in a connected case and hence one of them should have been present in the court.

Upset over the senior law officer's absence, the bench also rejected the profuse apology tendered by the junior government counsel.

"Apologies will not do. We will be forced to recall our order if your law officer (Haren Rawal) is not present here by 12:30," the bench warned.

The Supreme Court had on August 16 stayed the release of the Pune stud farm owner on bail granted by the Bombay High Court.

The three-judge bench had said that the effect of the Bombay High Court's order granting bail to him shall not be operational till today.

The court passed the order on a petition filed by the Enforcement Directorate challenging the high court's order granting bail to Khan, who has been accused in various money laundering cases.

"The documents reveal that Hasan Ali Khan has huge funds in his accounts to the extent of 800 million US dollars with a bank outside India," the Enforcement Directorate had said.

The agency, in its petition, alleged that various transactions led by Khan through his foreign bank accounts reveal his association with international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.

"The documents point to deep linkage between Khan and Khashoggi," the agency further said while pressing for stay on Bombay High Court's order granting bail to Khan.

The high court had granted bail to Khan on August 12 after observing that the agency had failed to show the wealth amassed by him was proceeds of crime.

The ED had said that Khan and his arrested accomplice Kashinath Tapuriah had deep links with bank officials in the US, Switzerland, Singapore, UAE and other countries.

It had alleged that Khan has links with Khashoggi, and in 2003, USD 300 million was apparently received by him from the arms dealer from weapon sales.

It had also said the accused had created a complex maze of structures and transactions to hide the true source of funds and frustrate the investigations.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, August 18, 2011, 13:11


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