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I-T tribunal issues showcause to Hasan Ali

New Delhi: Within 24 hours of the Supreme Court reprimanding the central government for not having the “will power” to act against black money hoarders, reports claimed, Friday, the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department have issued fresh summons to Hasan Ali Khan – dubbed as India’s biggest tax evader.

Based in Pune, Hasan Ali is alleged to have stashed billions of dollars of unaccounted money in foreign banks. In 2009, he was served a notice for a tax demand for about Rs 50,000 crore.

As per reports, the Enforcement Directorate which is looking into possible Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violations has asked Ali to be present himself for further interrogation.

The ED, according to sources, wants to obtain all possible information from various state and central law enforcement agencies about the finances of Khan in its probe to track his money trail.

In January 2007, the I-T department had raided Khan’s residence at Koregaon Park in Pune and seized documents that showed he allegedly had USD 8.04 billion in a UBS account in Zurich.

Along with the ED, the I-T department also issued fresh summons to Ali and has asked him to present himself for concluding the recording of his statement. He had earlier on Feb 19 appeared before Income Tax authorities.

Before surfacing before the I-T department on Feb 19, he was, officially, “absconding” for about two years.

Importantly, Ali has already approached the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal against the I-T department order asking him to pay Rs 50,000 as tax. Next hearing in ITAT is on March 22.

Apart from the FEMA violations and tax evation, Ali is also accused being involved in money laundering. Hence the ED, which has no powers under FEMA to arrest Ali, may arrest him under the Money Laundering Act, which has a provision for custodial interrogation.

There is also a case pending against him for allegedly being in possession of three fake passports. He was arrested by the Mumbai Police but was granted bail by the court.

There are also indications that a nationwide alert has been sounded, today, to prevent Ali from leaving the country.

Yesterday, the SC has expressed strong displeasure at the manner in which Khan and other alleged offenders were given repeated opportunities for adjournments by the Enforcement Directorate.

The court said the authorities were “hoodwinking” everybody and wondered whether the same leniency would have been extended to other petty offenders.

“What the hell is going on in this country,” the court said.

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