The Supreme Court on Thursday cancelled the bail granted to Hassan Ali Khan by a special trial court and allowed his custodial interrogation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for four days.
In a rare intervention, a bench comprising Justices B. Sudershan Reddy and S.S. Nijjar, even without issuing notice or hearing arguments on behalf of Khan, sent him to the ED's custody.
Soon after the court order, the tax evader allegedly became untraceable.
ED sleuths could not find him at his Mumbai and Pune homes.
Sources in the investigating agency expressed apprehension that it was a tactics by the Pune stud farm owner to buy time and that he could get himself admitted to a hospital.
Khan, however, surrendered before the ED late on Thursday evening.
Solicitor general (SG) Gopal Subramanium submitted in the apex court that Khan was granted bail on March 11 even though he had not filed an application for the same. At this, the bench expressed displeasure over the manner in which the trial court in Mumbai had dealt with the matter.
Subramanium said the ED had approached the trial court seeking Khan's remand, but the court went ahead to comment on the merits of evidence collected by it. On a query by the SC bench, he said it virtually amounted to quashing the FIR. The SG said the trial court went on to record that Khan had not opened any account in Switzerland after 2001, though the Swiss authorities had confirmed three accounts opened by him.
He said Khan was now feigning ignorance about any foreign account when questioned by the ED and "needs to be questioned in custody". In view of the urgency, the ED directly rushed to the SC and pressed for an an ex parte order, contending that a delay will be detrimental to the case.
Courtesy: Mail Today