Mumbai: A sessions court on Friday rejected
the bail plea of Pune stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan and his
associate Kashinath Tapuriah, arrested in March by Enforcement
Directorate which alleged that they had laundered USD 93
million in foreign banks and indulged in conspiracy to "wage
war against the nation".
The bail petitions were rejected by Principal Sessions
Judge, Swapna Joshi, who agreed with the prosecution that
granting them liberty at this juncture was not justified.
Opposing their bail, ED Counsel, Ujjwal Nikam, alleged
that Khan and Tapuriah had laundered USD 93 million in foreign
He also alleged that USD 300 million had been obtained
by Khan from sale of weapons. This, Nikam said, was reflected
in some documents recovered during investigation which were
signed by him and notarised in London.
Nikam contended that both the accused had hatched a
criminal conspiracy with international arms dealer Adnan
Khashoggi in the trade of weapons. Thus logical inference
could be drawn that they had indulged in conspiracy to `wage
war against the nation`, a serious offence under IPC.
The ED counsel said that Khan had acquired passports
by submitting forged and fabricated documents from various
regional passport authorities like Hyderabad, Patna, Mumbai,
Pune and London. Various offences were registered against
Khan, Nikam said.
He alleged that Khan had transferred USD seven lakh
from his Swiss Bank account to the account of SK Financial,
Nikam submitted that notarised documents seized from
the possession of Khan mentioned that Tapuriah was his
IP Bagaria and Girish Kulkarni, lawyers of Khan and
Tapuriah respectively, argued that the offences alleged to
have been committed by the accused pertained to the period
prior to the enactment of Prevention of Money Laundering Act
of 2002, under which they had been charged.
The provisions of this Act could not be invoked even if
it is presumed that charges against the accused were true
because the PMLA did not have retrospective effect, the
defence lawyers submitted.
Lawyers Bagaria and Kulkarni argued that the alleged
offences against Khan and Tapuriah were not scheduled
offences under part A of PMLA. Hence, the accused may be
released on bail.
The lawyers argued that ED had already contemplated
action against the accused under Foreign Exchange Management
Act (FEMA) and questioned how on the same set of facts the
agency could prosecute the accused under PMLA also.
They contended that ED had filed complaint against the
accused only under section 3 of PMLA and had not filed any
further complaint under IPC for offence of "waging war against
nation". Therefore the accused could not be charged with the
Countering the arguments, Nikam argued that the objective
of PMLA should be considered by the court. He said section 3
of PMLA are contemplated in such a manner that continuity in
action is necessary and therefore section 3 has retrospective