MUMBAI. In an embarrassment for the Enforcement Directorate, a local court on Friday rejected its plea seeking remand of Hasan Ali Khan for his custodial interrogation in a money laundering case and granted bail to the controversial businessman.
Special sessions judge ML Tahaliyani said the ED relied on documents of questionable authenticity to build a case against Hasan Ali Khan. The court granted him bail for Rs 80,000 and two sureties. The court refused to stay the order for ED to file an appeal in the higher court.
The ED had arrested Khan on Monday for money laundering. The court said the ED failed to prove that there existed a case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The court also said ED did not carry out investigations to prove the authenticity of the documents. The court said ED did not make any efforts to arrest Khan till now though the investigations began in 2007. (Read: Hasan Ali issued passport in Patna!)
One of the requirements to invoke PMLA is that the suspect should have committed a criminal offence and generated money from it. This money if the suspect converted into tainted money, then it becomes a case under PMLA. The only criminal case against Ali is of using forged documents to obtain multiple passports. The judge said ED failed to prove that the he generated money in the forgery case and laundered it.
The documents found by the ED in its investigations show a transfer of $8 billion (Rs 36,000 crore) in his bank account in UBS Zurich. UBS has said that the documents submitted by the ED to prove this investments were forged. ED said $7 lakh (over Rs 3 crore) he transferred from his account his Bank Sarasin Switzerland to Barclays Bank account of SK Financial Services.
Tahaliyani said ED failed to prove there are cross border implications of the offence. The agency could not prove that the crime was committed in India and the property obtained from this crime was transferred outside.