The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday sought transfer of Pune businessman Hasan Ali Khan to judicial custody, stating it had made a major breakthrough in investigation. “The material elicited during the course of interrogation revealed the names and involvement of a much larger and influential international network,” said an ED source.
Principal sessions judge SS Joshi remanded Khan to judicial custody till April 8 after ED counsel Ujjwal Nikam stated the agency did not need his custody at this moment. Nikam urged the court that the ED be given permission to press for Khan’s custody whenever it might be required in future for further investigation.
The ED stated in its remand plea that the agency had obtained material information which showed Khan’s close involvement in money laundering activities. The ED said that the material elicited during the course of interrogation has revealed the names and involvement of a large and influential international network.
The ED contended that it was necessary to keep Khan in judicial custody as details of information were being called for from various Indian and international agencies, the ED contended. The agency said that if the custody was not granted, Khan would tamper with the evidence and hamper progress of investigation by absconding.
Khan’s lawyer IP Bagadia said that Khan had received threats. “After the arrest of Kashinath Tapuriah, Khan has received threats to life from Tapuriah and his (Tapuriah’s) other associates,” said Bagadia.
The ED began questioning Khan on the basis of documents forwarded by the income tax department which purportedly disclosed Khan having account balance to the extent of $8 billion (Rs36,000 crore) in a Swiss bank.
Khan was taken into custody by the ED after the Supreme Court cancelled his bail on March 17.
The apex court on March 21 extended Khan’s custody by three days which ended on Thursday night.
Khan was produced before the Metropolitan Magistrate on the night of March 24 after which he was produced before the sessions court.