Sunil Shinde, chartered accountant for Pune businessman Hasan Ali Khan, claimed on Wednesday that he had received an anonymous ‘threat letter’ instructing him to name Sharad Pawar and his family in the case currently being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Khan, for whom Shinde has been working as a chartered accountant from 2007, has been arrested on charges of illegally stashing large sums of money abroad. He is also accused of tax evasion.
According to Shinde, the ‘post card’, a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times, arrived on Wednesday morning. Addressed to Shinde, the postcard, he claimed, states: “As you have been looking after all of Hasan Ali’s audits, it is natural that you know the involvement of Sharad Pawar, Supriya Sule, Ajit Pawar and (Shahid) Balwa in the case.”
While Sule is Pawar’s daughter and Ajit, his nephew, Balwa is an industrialist arrested in the 2G spectrum case, currently being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The letter, he said, goes on to state: “If you do not disclose the names of Pawar, Sule, Ajit Pawar and Balwa through a press conference, the consequences will be severe.” At the top of the letter are two mobile phone numbers — both of which, if dialled, reach CBI officials.
After receiving the letter, Shinde, along with his lawyer Rahul Dindokar, met deputy commissioner of police Anant Rokade to seek protection. The police are yet to decide on the security. Dindokar said, “On Thursday, my client will formally lodge a complaint at Sahakar Nagar police station.”
On March 23, ED searched Shinde’s residence and office premises. The ED spent nine hours at Shinde’s Sahakar Nagar residence and quizzed him before taking a hard disk and documents related to Khan’s I-T returns and bank accounts. The next day, ED called Shinde to its Mumbai office for further questioning.
Khan is charged with stashing $8 billion in foreign banks. I-T has charged Khan with tax evasion of around Rs 70,000 crore.