Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's ‘illegal' police custody by ED: Hasan Ali

Hasan Ali Khan, facing money laundering charges, on Thursday questioned in the Supreme Court his “illegal” police custody by the Enforcement Directorate even as he was in judicial custody after his bail was cancelled.

Counsel Santosh Paul told a Bench that the Pune-based businessman was taken into police custody by the ED on March 29 without the due process of law being followed. No police custody could be permitted after the expiry of the 15-day remand period. However, he was illegally directed to be in the ED's custody by the special court from morning till evening.

Counsel argued that the ED sought police custody of Hasan Ali even without producing a copy of the March 28 Supreme Court order. Only by producing another order of the Supreme Court, passed on a writ petition by the former Law Minister Ram Jethmalani permitting videography of custodial interrogation, did the special court pass the “illegal” direction. This direction should be suspended and Hasan Ali given an opportunity to oppose the plea for police custody, Mr. Paul argued.

Justice B. Sudershan Reddy said the Bench could not entertain oral submissions without any formal application. “If you are aggrieved over the special court's order, it is open to you to challenge it in the High Court,” he told counsel. When he sought permission to file a formal application in the Supreme Court itself, Justice Reddy said: “If you want, you file it.”

Justice S.S. Nijjar is the other judge on the Bench.

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