PMO sanctions ED to quiz Puducherry Lieutenant Governor
New Delhi, Apr 19 (ANI): The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has reportedly given its nod to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to question Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Iqbal Singh on his alleged links with Pune-based stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan, who is facing charges of tax evasion.
It was reported on Monday that the Union Home Ministry will forward an application to the PMO in this regard, which would then be forwarded to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil for sanction.
Iqbal Singh had on Sunday said he was willing to resign if asked to and emphasised that he had informed the Centre of the facts
He had earlier written a letter to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and termed the reports 'false'.
Singh mentioned in the letter that he had recommended Khan's case to the Ministry of External Affairs for issuance of passport on humanitarian grounds on the recommendation of a senior Congress leader, but had never met him.
"It is pertinent to mention here that I did not know the said applicant, H Khan at all, neither did I ever meet him. I only issued the letter for expeditious issue of his passport, believing the assertions of a known Congress leader, Amalendu Pandey, to the effect that his brother was not well, on purely humanitarian and compassionate grounds," Singh mentioned in his letter.
The AIADMK had on Sunday demanded that the President recall Iqbal Singh, saying he had been facing 'several controversies' ever since he assumed office in 2009, including the one relating to procurement of passport to Hasan Ali Khan.
"Since the name of the Lieutenant Governor has been linked to the person, the President should immediately recall Mr. Singh. The office of Lieutenant Governor is 'sacrosanct' and those occupying the post should be above suspicion," AIADMK Puducherry Unit Secretary A. Anbalagan told mediapersons.
"The Lieutenant Governor's office should be beyond any doubt. If the Lieutenant Governor was not recalled, the party's local leadership would consult the high command and chart out further course of action," he added.
The ED is said to have questioned Amlendu Pandey, the suspected aide of Hasan Ali Khan in connection with a massive money laundering case.
Pandey is a prominent Congress leader from Bihar and this will be the second time that he is being questioned in a week.
Pandey and Kolkata-based businessman Kashinath Tapuriah, alleged to be another key associate of Khan, visited the ED's offices on Monday.
So far, Tapuriah has denied links in the passport forgery case. He will be in the ED's custody for two days from Monday and would be brought for questioning to the agency's office.
Pandey, during his previous session of questioning, had held Singh responsible for pushing for Khan's passport despite knowing that his first passport had been impounded by an Andhra Pradesh court. (ANI)
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