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Puducherry lieutenant governor summoned

Cong leader Amlendu Pandey said Iqbal Singh had written letter that got Hasan Ali's passport expedited.

mumbai Updated: Apr 17, 2011 02:38 IST
HT Correspondents

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned lieutenant governor of Puducherry Iqbal Singh for questioning on Monday. ED officials said Singh was summoned for his links with Hasan Ali Khan and his aide Kashinath Tapuriah.

Congress leader Amlendu Pandey, who was questioned by the ED on Thursday, alleged in his statement that it was Singh who had expedited Khan's passport application in Patna in 1997 while he [Singh] was a Congress member of parliament (MP).

Pandey also said Tapuriah made the passport for Khan and took his [Pandey's] help. The passport was allegedly made using forged documents.

Pandey had also travelled with Khan to Singapore in 1997 using the passport made in Patna. Admitting that he had recommended to the ministry of external affairs that the issuance of the passport to Khan on humanitarian grounds be expedited, Singh on Saturday, denied ever meeting Khan.

Singh, in a communiqué to home minister P Chidambaram, said Amlendu Pandey approached him on April 4, 1997, for a passport for Khan from the Patna passport office on humanitarian grounds.

Iqbal was a Rajya Sabha member from 1992-1998.

"Pandey told me that Khan's brother was seriously ill abroad and the latter's presence was essential there. I referred his case to then external affairs minister IK Gujral, who informed me about issuing necessary instructions to the Patna passport office on April 5, 1997," he said.

"I did not know Khan at all, neither did I ever meet him. I only issued a letter for the passport, believing Pandey's assertions about Khan's brother. Besides, I did not verify Khan's passport application as I did not know him," Singh said. "I have absolutely no link with Khan. I have never recommended his case for anything afterwards," he said.

On media reports about a police constable Ashok Kumar, allegedly attached with Singh as a personal security officer (PSO), having collected Khan's passport from the Patna passport office, Singh refuted the allegations and said no one by that name was ever deployed with him as PSO by any security agency.

UP principal secy removed over links
The ED is also likely to question Uttar Pradesh principal secretary (information) Vijay Shankar Pandey for links with Khan. ED sources said he would be issued summons next week.

The ED will question VS Pandey in connection with Khan's passport procured from Patna and also funds in banks abroad. Sources said VS Pandey was in touch with Amlendu Pandey.

In further development, VS Pandey was removed from the CM's secretariat after his name cropped up in the controversy. The UP government on Saturday posted VS Pandey as member (judicial), board of revenue, Lucknow.

VS Pandey on Saturday trashed reports about ED planning to interrogate him in the Hasan Ali case. He said he had never met Amlendu Pandey. VS Pandey said so far he had not received any communication from the ED.