A three-member Enforcement Directorate team was today believed to have questioned Puducherry Lt. Governor Iqbal Singh over his recommendation for issuing passport expeditiously to Hasan Ali Khan, facing money laundering and tax evasion charges.
Official sources said the ED team from Chennai spent about an hour with the Lt. Governor at the Rajnivas here.
However, a Rajnivas spokesman said the ED team was with Mr. Singh for 20 minutes and did not divulge what transpired between them.
“The team went upstairs and returned after 20 minutes and I cannot say anything else. The team did not tell anything. I am conveying what I have been asked to. What transpired I cannot say,” S. Srinivasan, private secretary to the Lt Governor, told reporters.
When persisted with the query whether the team questioned the Lt. Governor, Mr. Srinivasan said he could not say anything as “I did not accompany them upstairs“.
Asked if there would be a visit again by the ED officials to meet the Lt Governor, he said “I cannot say anything.”
The ED’s questioning comes in the wake of the Prime Minister’s Office clearance to the Enforcement Directorate’s request to record a statement of Mr.Singh in connection with his recommendation as a Congress Rajya Sabha member in 1997 for expeditious issue of passport to the Pune stud farm owner.
Mr. Singh’s name cropped up during the questioning of Bihar-based Congress leader Amlendu Pandey on the issue.
Mr. Singh has admitted to have recommended expeditious issue of passport to Khan but claimed he never knew him.
In a letter to Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram last week, Singh had claimed that he asked for the passport to be granted on humanitarian grounds because he had been told that Khan needed to travel abroad urgently to visit his ailing brother.