PMO allows ED to quiz Puducherry Lt-Governor
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has given its formal nod to the Enforcement Directorate to question Puducherry Lt Governor Iqbal Singh, in connection with Singh’s recommendation for issuing a passport to Hasan Ali Khan.delhi Updated: Apr 19, 2011 13:57 IST
The Prime Minister's Office has given a nod to questioning of Puducherry Lt Governor Iqbal Singh by the Enforcement Directorate for his alleged links with suspected money launderer Hasan Ali Khan.
Sources said the clearance was given when the file seeking such permission reached the PMO. They said that governors enjoy immunity only in matters relating to discharge of their constitutional duties and "in this case, there was no need for a permission from the PMO."
Home Minister P Chidambaram had said yesterday his ministry was working out modalities for recording the statement of the Lt Governor before the ED.
"The LG is willing to make a statement to the Enforcement Directorate," he had said after a meeting with Singh.
The ED is believed to have sent summons to Singh after his name cropped up during questioning of a Bihar based Congress leader Amlendu Pandey in connection with recommendation for expeditious issuance of passport to Khan, a Pune stud farm owner.
Singh has already acknowledged that he did recommend expeditious issue of passport to Pune stud farm owner Khan at the request of a Bihar Congress leader, though he did not know him.
Earlier on Monday, Singh told home minister P Chidambaram he was ready to respond to any questions that investigators may have, since he was clear about the issue.
A team from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) could soon travel to Puducherry to record the statement. The questioning will be video recorded.
Hasan Ali Khan is an accused in tax evasion and money laundering cases.