I-T demand on Hassan Ali raised to Rs 62,000 cr

New Delhi: Hassan Ali Khan, under arrest and fighting Enforcement Directorate proceedings on money laundering charges, now faces an increased tax demand of Rs 89,000 crore on him and his associates.

Ali, who is accused of stashing away USD eight billion of unaccounted money in foreign banks, will now be slapped a tax demand of Rs 62,000 crore, that includes a 24 per cent penalty on the earlier I-T demand of Rs 50,329 crore that was raised in 2008, reliable sources in the department said.

The penalty has been levied on non-payment of the outstanding tax demand on him and his associates that has been pending payment for the last two years.

Investigators probing alleged money laundering and tax evasion charges against the Pune-based stud farm owner meanwhile are mulling sending fresh Letters Rogatories to Switzerland to obtain information on his Swiss bank accounts.

Sources said the multi-disciplinary team of officials from I-T, ED, Economic Offences Wing of Maharashtra Police and RBI are now planning to obtain fresh LR`s from a Mumbai court as they have now charged Khan under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

"The last LR obtained by the enforcement agencies from a Mumbai court remained unhelpful as the Swiss authorities said that the charges against Khan do not pertain to criminal offences. No information on his Swiss accounts and transactions was hence obtained by them," top sources involved in the probe said.

The new LR`s citing money laundering charges could help elicit additional information from Swiss authorities, they said.

According to the I-T Act, a penalty of 12 per cent is imposed each year on unyielded taxes.

The department has raised a tax of Rs 50,329 crore against Khan, Rs 49 crore against his wife Rheema Hassan Ali Khan, Rs 591 crore against his associate Kashi Nath Tapuriah, RS 20,540 crore against Tapuriah`s wife Chandrika and a Rs 336 crore against a business firm related to Khan– R M Investment and Trading Company Private Limited.

The investigators are also pinning their hopes on the only "substantial" transaction of Khan which they have received "full information"– to take their case forward.

The transaction involves alleged transfer of USD 700,000 from the Bank of Sarasin to Citibank in New York from which it was moved to Barclays in the UK.

"This is a ray of hope for us in the entire case as proof in other cases of transactions is still not complete," they said.

The joint probe team, with its base in Mumbai, is also scrutinising classified information received by the foreign taxation wing of the CBDT on Khan`s transactions from the US and the UK.

The wing has received exhaustive details on the alleged investments made by Khan to the tune of crores of rupees under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with both the nations.

The agencies are also looking for Khan`s properties abroad to attach them for penal proceedings as he reportedly does not have much properties in India.