I’m being framed by Kashinath Tapuria, says Hasan Ali

I’m being framed by Kashinath Tapuria, says Hasan Ali

Mumbai: Pune stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan on Friday alleged that he was getting threats from Kolkata businessman Kashinath Tapuria, a co-accused in the money laundering case, after he was remanded in judicial custody by a sessions court till 8 April.

Outside the court, Khan told reporters that he was getting threats from Tapuria, his alleged associate in money laundering activities.

Khan also alleged that he was being framed in the case by Tapuria, who was arrested on Thursday by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Clad in white kurta-pyjama, 53-year-old Khan was produced before Principal Sessions Judge Swapna Joshi who remanded him in judicial custody after ED counsel Ujjwal Nikam submitted that they did not need Khan’s custody at this moment.

Nikam contended that the ED reserved the right to press for his custody at a later date. This was opposed by Khan’s lawyer I P Bagadia.

However, the court said the issue could be decided later and as of now the accused was being remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.

Khan was taken into custody by the ED on 17 March after the Supreme Court cancelled the bail granted to him by a trial court. On 21 March, the apex court had ordered his custody to the ED for an additional three days.

The ED has questioned Khan, facing close to Rs70,000 crore tax demand notice from the Income-Tax Department, with regard to his past trips to various countries and his business dealings within the country.

Tapuria was arrested in Mumbai yesterday after three days of questioning. He had earlier denied having any links with Khan.

Tapuria was later produced before a Mumbai sessions court which remanded him in ED custody till 30 March.

A Mumbai court had on 11 March rejected the ED’s plea for custodial interrogation of Khan on the ground that the agency had not gathered sufficient evidence or made any case to justify its plea for Khan’s custodial interrogation.

The apex court had on 17 March, while directing Khan’s custodial interrogation, criticized Mumbai Principal Sessions Judge M. L. Tahaliyani’s order of granting bail to Khan, saying it was “deeply disturbed" over the manner in which the trial court judge had rejected the ED’s contention and given a lengthy order for it.

The ED had told the apex court that it was in possession of incriminating evidence against Khan showing that he has stashed huge amount of black money in various banks abroad.

It alleged Khan had withdrawn about $60,000 from a Swiss bank and cited communications from Swiss official sources to back its allegation.