With the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) sanctioning the questioning of lieutenant governor Iqbal Singh, a team of Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials from Mumbai will be leaving for Puducherry next week.
Singh will be questioned in connection with his role in expediting Pune businessman Hasan Ali Khan’s passport application from the Patna passport office in 1997. With Singh holding a constitutional post, the ED has decided to question him at Raj Niwas in Puducherry instead of at the agency’s Nariman Point office.
“However, we won’t give him any questionnaire in advance,” an ED official said requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The ED wanted to question Singh on Monday, but with no clearance from the union home ministry it could not do so.
The ED will also question Singh regarding his help in expediting passport applications of Khan’s associate Kashinath Tapuriah and his wife Chandrika at the Kolkata passport office.
Singh had, in his communiqué to union home minister P Chidambaram recently, said Bihar Congress leader Amlendu Pandey had approached him on April 4, 1997, over the issuance of a passport for Khan from the Patna passport office on humanitarian grounds.
Singh was a Rajya Sabha member from 1992-1998. Singh said Pandey had told him Khan’s brother was seriously ill abroad and his presence was extremely essential there. Singh said he had never met Khan.
Pandey had, during his questioning, told ED that he had approached Singh to get Khan’s passport application expedited. ED officials said from Singh’s questioning they would verify if he had helped Pandey only on humanitarian grounds or whether there was more to it.