The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to ensure that Hasan Ali Khan, a Pune-based businessman accused of stashing black money in foreign banks, does not leave the country.

A Bench, headed by Justice B. Sudershan Reddy, conveyed this to Solicitor-General Gopal Subramanium at the hearing of a petition that noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani and some former bureaucrats filed to seek a direction to the Centre to bring back black money, which is said to amount to $1 trillion.

“It's your duty to ensure that he is available to face prosecution,” the court said, when Mr. Subramanium informed it that Hasan Ali was in India, and the government was taking all steps against him.

The court also asked whether the stud farm owner could be made a party to the proceedings.

Mr. Subramanium assured the court that the Centre would reveal the names after registering a formal case against them. The Centre had already served show cause notices on them.

Senior advocate Anil Divan, representing Mr. Jethmalani, contended that the government was not taking effective steps. Referring to a report that Letters Rogatory had been issued to the authorities in the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore and Hong Kong, seeking information about black money, he submitted that nothing more was done.

Mr. Subramanium acknowledged that Letters Rogatory had been issued, but said the government had taken “remarkable” steps in the case. Placing before the court a sealed envelope, he said all this information was given in it. The court then posted the matter to March 3 for further hearing. — PTI