The sessions court on Friday refused to grant bail to Pune businessman Hasan Ali Khan and his Kolkata-based associate Kashinath Tapuriah.
Principal sessions judge, Swapna Joshi rejected the bail application saying that the duo could not be granted bail at this juncture.
Ujjwal Nikam, counsel for Enforcement Directorate (ED), opposing the bail, contended the duo faced serious allegations such as conspiring with international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi in the trade of weapons.
Nikam said it could be inferred from the allegation that they had indulged in conspiracy to ‘wage war against the nation’.
Nikam alleged that Khan and Tapuriah had laundered $93 million in foreign banks, of which Khan obtained a large chunk through the sale of weapons.
Nikam cited several documents, which were recovered in the course of the investigation, signed by him and notarised in London.
Nikam further argued that Khan had acquired multiple passports by submitting forged documents at various regional passport authorities such as Hyderabad, Patna, Mumbai, Pune and London.
Opposing Tapuriah’s bail, Nikam said that the notarised documents seized from the possession of Khan mentioned Tapuriah as his advisor.
Khan and Tapuriah’s lawyers argued that offences in question were committed before the enactment of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) of 2002. Due to this, provisions of the Act could not be invoked against the accused.
IP Bagaria and Girish Kulkarni, lawyers of Khan and Tapuriah, respectively submitted that the PMLA did not have retrospective effect, even if the charges were assumed to be true.
They also stated that ED had filed the complaint against the duo under Section 3 of the PMLA and the duo was not booked under the Indian Penal Code sections of “waging war against nation”.
The accused, therefore, could not be charged with the IPC provision.
The duo was arrested in March on charges of money laundering and tax evasion.