Khan alleges threat from Tapuria, industrialist

Mumbai: Pune stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan, accused of stashing away billions of dollars in foreign banks, on Friday sought to give a new twist to the case alleging that he was getting threats from his arrested associate Kashinath Tapuria and industrialist R P Goenka.

Outside a local court after he was remanded in judicial custody by till April 8, Khan told reporters "I am facing threat from Kashinath Tapuri and R P Goenka. Tapuria has framed me in this case."

However, Khan`s claim was strongly rejected by Goenka, who said he has had no no relations with Ali or Tapuria.

"He (Goenka) no no relations with Tapuria, not not to speak of business relations with him. He has never known or seen Hasan Ali Khan " a spokesman of the RPG group said in Kolkata reacting to the allegation by Ali and his lawyer in Mumbai.

Khan later filed an application in the court seeking protection saying he has got threat to his life.

The court directed Superintendent of Arthur Road jail to make necessary arrangements for protection and security to Khan.

Tapuria, a Kolkata-based businessman and said to be an associate of Ali, was arrested here yesterday by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Clad in white kurta-pyjama, 53-year-old Khan was appeared before Principal Sessions Judge Swapna Joshi who remanded him in judicial custody after ED counsel Ujjwal Nikam submitted that they did not need Khan`s custody at this moment.

Nikam contended that the ED reserved the right to press for his custody at a later date. This was opposed by Khan`s lawyer I P Bagadia.

However, the court said the issue could be decided later and as of now the accused was being remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.

Khan was taken into custody by the ED on March 17 after the Supreme Court cancelled the bail granted to him by a trial court. On March 21, the apex court had ordered his custody to the ED for an additional three days.

The ED has questioned Khan, facing close to Rs 70,000 crore tax demand notice from the Income-Tax Department, with regard to his past trips to various countries and his business dealings within the country.

Tapuria was arrested in Mumbai yesterday after three days of questioning. He had earlier denied having any links with Khan.

Tapuria was later produced before a Mumbai sessions court which remanded him in ED custody till March 30.

A Mumbai court had on March 11 rejected the ED`s plea for custodial interrogation of Khan on the ground that the agency had not gathered sufficient evidence or made any case to justify its plea for Khan`s custodial interrogation.

The apex court had on March 17, while directing Khan`s custodial interrogation, criticised Mumbai Principal Sessions Judge M L Tahaliyani`s order of granting bail to Khan, saying it was "deeply disturbed" over the manner in which the trial court judge had rejected the ED`s contention and given a lengthy order for it.

The ED had told the apex court that it was in possession of incriminating evidence against Khan showing that he has stashed huge amount of black money in various banks abroad.

It alleged Khan had withdrawn about 60,000 dollars from a Swiss bank and cited communications from Swiss official sources to back its allegation.