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ED team completes questioning of Pondy Lt Governor

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 19:18

Puducherry: An Enforcement Directorate
team on Tuesday completed the questioning of Puducherry Lt Governor
Iqbal Singh over his recommendation for expeditious issuance
of passport to suspected money launderer Hasan Ali Khan.

Singh was questioned for two hours today, Raj Nivas
sources said.

The ED team from Mumbai had grilled Singh for five
hours yesterday, with the entire proceedings being reportedly
Raj Nivas sources were tight-lipped on whether the
questioning, which concluded at 12.30 pm, was video-graphed.

"None of us had any access to the venue where
questioning was done," the sources said.

Singh is in the eye of a storm for his action as a
Congress Rajya Sabha member in 1997 in recommending
expeditious issuance of passport to Khan, a Pune-based stud
farm owner.

Singh admitted that he did make such a recommendation
on humanitarian grounds as he was told that Khan needed to
travel abroad to visit his ailing brother. He however claimed
he did not know Khan.
The Lt Governor`s name surfaced during questioning of
Bihar-based Congress leader Amlendu Pandey.

The ED action followed clearance from the Prime
Minister`s Office last week to record Singh`s statement on the

Singh is also embroiled in another controversy, facing
charges that a trust in which his two sons were former members
had been given in-principle clearance by the administration to
set up a medical college without following due procedures.

Opposition parties have called for a bandh tomorrow
seeking recall of Singh, who has however received support from
Chief Minister V Vaithilingam.

The Chief Minister said "there is no necessity" for
Singh to step down as he was facing only allegations and the
ED would do "necessary statutory follow up."

District authorities have clamped prohibitory orders
in Puducherry and Mahe regions for today and tomorrow after
the dawn to dusk bandh call by CPI(M), AIADMK and BSP.


First Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 19:18
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