The Enforcement Directorate (ED) could not question lieutenant governor of Puducherry Iqbal Singh in the Hasan Ali Khan case on Monday, as it had no clearance from the union home ministry. Singh was to be questioned in connection with expediting Khan’s passport application at the Patna passport office in 1997.
ED officials treated Singh’s communiqué to union home minister P Chidambaram as his statement for now and questioned Congress leader Amlendu Pandey on the basis of it on Monday.
In the communiqué last week, Singh had said that Bihar Congress leader Amlendu Pandey had approached him on April 4, 1997 over the issue of expediting Khan’s passport application on humanitarian grounds. Singh was Rajya Sabha member from 1992-1998.
Singh had said that Pandey told him Khan’s brother was seriously ill abroad and the latter’s presence was essential there. Singh also denied knowing Khan. He said he had never met Khan.
Pandey, who was questioned for the second time, arrived at the ED’s Nariman Point office around 12.30pm. He was questioned till late in the night. The agency had earlier questioned him on Thursday. This time, the ED confronted Pandey with Khan’s close aide Kashinath Tapuriah regarding the passport and their travel to Singapore to open an account.
The ED had sought permission from the court to question Tapuriah, who is in judicial custody, from 10am to 5.30pm at its office on Monday and Tuesday.
ED believes that Pandey had acted on Tapuriah’s recommendation to help Khan make a passport from Patna. The passport was made allegedly using forged documents. Pandey, too, in his statement last week told ED that he had helped Tapuriah make the passport for Khan.
The ED further quizzed Pandey on his relations with Uttar Pradesh principal secretary Vijay Shankar Pandey. The ED suspects that the UP bureaucrat had links with Amlendu Pandey and Khan. The UP government had on Saturday shifted Vijay Pandey from the CM’s secretariat and posted him as member (judicial), Board of Revenue, Lucknow.