The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday questioned Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan in connection with a case registered against him and some unidentified government officials based on a complaint received from the income tax authorities. A CBI team from Delhi that had come to the agency’s office in Akurdi on Friday called Khan to the office in the morning. After primary questioning, Khan was taken back to his home in Koregaon Park, where he was questioned again. Later, the ailing businessman was taken to a hospital for a scheduled dialysis. Khan (62) is known to have various complications. After dialysis, his questioning continued late in the evening, a source said.
According to a PTI report in March this year, along with the case by the CBI, the ED had also filed a Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), which is an ED equivalent of the FIR. The ECIR had named Khan and some unidentified tax officials. Both these cases are said to be pertaining to alleged under-assessment of Khan’s income and tax liability. Khan’s lawyer, Advocate Prashant Patil said; “These issues have been thoroughly investigated by multiple agencies, including Enforcement Directorate, for over past ten years now. There is no prima facie case against my client in whatsoever manner directly or indirectly to prove the charges of the agencies. Mr Khan is suffering severe medical problems and this kind of harassment by agencies may cost him his life.
He cannot face this eternal so-called investigation anymore without any fault of his. My client shall move the Honourable Bombay High Court if required to seek Judicial intervention.” A CBI spokesperson in Delhi confirmed told The Indian Express that Khan was questioned on Friday in an ongoing investigation, but refused to divulge further details.
In 2007, Khan was accused of laundering $8 billion and was termed as the biggest money launderer of India. His income between 2001-02 and 2007-08 was quoted as Rs 1.10 lakh crore and his tax liability was appraised at Rs 34,000 crore. He was also accused of having links with Saudi Arabian businessman and international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.
But over the years, both these claims by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Income Tax Department have come down drastically. In 2013, The Indian Express had reported how ED’s own claim of money laundered by him came down from $8 billion to $93 million and even further in the coming years.
In April 2016, The Indian Express reported that his tax assessment was decided at mere Rs three crore, a whopping 11,000 times less than its earlier claim. After having spent four-and-a-half years in jail, Khan was released in August 2015 and in June 2016 he received a notice from the ED for attachment of his house in Koregaon Park where Khan currently stays with his wife and son.