Hasan Ali's passport courier missing for 14 years
While Puducherry lieutenant governor Iqbal Singh is suspected by investigators to have arranged for alleged money launderer Hasan Ali Khan's passport, the man who supposedly picked up the document on Singh's behalf is missing for 14 years. Dev Raj reportspatna Updated: Apr 19, 2011 22:00 IST
While Puducherry lieutenant governor Iqbal Singh is suspected by investigators to have arranged for alleged money launderer Hasan Ali Khan's passport, the man who supposedly picked up the document on Singh's behalf is missing for 14 years.
'Ashok Kumar', who is reported to have done the legwork for Singh, then a Rajya Sabha member, introduced himself as personal security officer to the MP. He collected the document from the Patna regional passport office in April 1997 after furnishing a six-digit badge number (employee number), which later turned out to be false. He has remained untraced to date.
"Singh has said he requested the then external affairs minister IK Gujral (just before he became PM) to clear Hasan Ali's passport on compassionate grounds at the behest of Congress leader Amalendu Pandey. But if the constable who collected the passport on behalf of Khan is traced and turns out to be Singh's PSO (then), a connection between Singh and Khan will emerge," said a source closely working with one of the investigating agencies in the case.
"Enforcement Directorate officials are expected to touch this aspect of the case when they interrogate the lieutenant governor," he added.
The Enforcement Directorate has been given the go-ahead to record Singh's statement.
Investigating agencies in Patna have found Alamganj police had faxed Khan's police verification report to the ministry of external affairs on April 9, 1997, even though there was no provision for such transference at that time. The fax had originated from a number allotted to the central telegraph office, Patna.
Court order: A local court on Tuesday asked city police to produce Hasan Ali Khan by April 30. Chief judicial magistrate Surendra Pratap Singh allowed Patna police to issue a warrant for Khan's production before the court in connection with the passport issue.