Puducherry L-G meets Chidambaram over Hasan Ali links

Iqbal Singh is under scanner for recommending expeditious issuance of passport to Hasan Ali Khan.

Updated: Apr 27, 2011, 14:45 PM IST

New Delhi: Amidst opposition demand for his
removal, Puducherry Lt Governor Iqbal Singh Wednesday met Union
Home Minister P Chidambaram and apprised him of his
questioning by Enforcement Directorate over his recommendation
for issuing a passport to alleged tax evader Hasan Ali Khan.

The 20-minute meeting at the North Block came a day after
Singh was questioned by ED officials at Puducherry Raj Niwas
for two consecutive days.

"The ED has questioned me. The Supreme Court is monitoring
the case," a visibly upset Singh told reporters when asked as
to what transpired in the meeting.

Asked whether he was going to resign from the post
following the controversy and the demand of the opposition
parties in Puducherry, Singh said "I will not reply to any

On what was the need for him to meet Chidambaram for the
third time in ten days, Singh shot back saying, "I can meet
the Home Minister any number of times, you cannot question

Singh has been in the eye of a storm for his action in
1997 as a Congress member of Rajya Sabha member in
recommending expeditious issue of passport to Khan, a Pune
based stud farm owner and suspected money launderer.

The Lt Governor has admitted that he did make such
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.

Singh`s name surfaced during questioning of Bihar Congress
leader Amlendu Pandey.

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

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

Opposition parties including AIADMK, CPI, CPI(M), BSP and
RSP observed a bandh in Puducherry today demanding Singh`s