Thursday, March 3, 2011

SC pulls up Centre on Hasan Ali case

The Supreme Court on Thursday questioned the government over the progress made into investigations on Hasan Ali, the main accused in the multi-billion-dollar money laundering and tax evasion case.
"What is in the way of taking action against Hasan Ali," the court questioned the Centre. "How many years will investigations continue against Ali?" it added. The court said the matter was serious and it did not want any delay.
The Supreme Court wanted to know why custodial interrogation of Hasan Ali and other alleged black money launderers had not taken place yet.
The apex court also ordered forthwith reinstatement of three key ED officials allegedly transferred midway into the probe in a case of foreign exchange law violation by the Pune businessman Hasan Ali Khan.
A bench of justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar also indicated that if the government fails to act, it would be compelled to appoint a special officer for supervising the probe against the offenders, PTI reported.
It also asked the government not to treat LGT Bank account holders as mere tax evaders but investigate their source of black money.
Khan, who is alleged to have stashed around USD 8 billion in foreign banks, had been earlier served tax notice for about Rs 50,000 crore.
When Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium tried to make certain submissions, the bench virtually snubbed him, saying, "What the hell is going on in this country."
It then said it was very unfortunate that the three key officials of the Enforcement Directorate investigating the black money scandal have been abruptly transferred midway into the investigation.
The bench granted time till Tuesday to the Centre to file its response failing which it said the court would be constrained to pass necessary orders.
The apex court has been putting pressure on the Centre to divulge the names of foreign bank account holders who allegedly stashed black money while asking it to ensure that one of the main suspects Hasan Ali Khan did not leave the country.

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