Kashinath Tapuriah, co-accused in a money-laundering case against Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan, has died, a special court was informed. Tapuriah was arrested in 2011 by the Enforcement Directorate on allegations that he had helped Ali in laundering the money and opening bank accounts abroad.
The special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act was informed this week that the 80-year old businessman from Kolkata passed away on August 15 this year. His counsel submitted the death certificate before the court after which the ED was directed to verify and submit a report. The ED has sought further time to file the report.
Meanwhile, Ali has sought an expedited trial in the case. While the ED began investigating the case against Ali from 2007 when an Income Tax raid was conducted on his premises, a prosecution complaint — equivalent of a chargesheet — was filed in 2011, after he was arrested. Till date, charges against Ali have not been framed. He was granted bail in 2015 by the Bombay High Court.
Advocate Prashant Patil representing Ali told the court that his client has been suffering serious medical illnesses for the past four years. “The trial has not commenced against my client because there is no evidence to even frame charges against him. He was imprisoned for more than four years without anybody being made accountable,” Patil said. He further said that for all these years, the ED has not proceeded towards opening the case against Ali.
In 2007, Ali 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. In 2016, however, The Indian Express reported that his tax assessment was decided at mere Rs three crore. Recently, however, the CBI has filed a fresh FIR against Ali while the ED claims to be investigating fresh leads against him.