NEW DELHI: A strong demand was made in Lok Sabha for pushing with greater zeal the probe against suspected economic offender Hassan Ali, with a member questioning if there was “political pressure” on investigating agencies to go soft on him.
The issue was raised by CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta, who said credibility of investigating agencies like the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had come under a cloud after Ali was released on bail with a rap by the court for “home work” not being done properly.
He wanted a statement from the government on the “serious” issue which has “dangerous implications” as Ali was said to be linked to international arms dealers and terrorists.
Dasgupta noted that Ali was arrested recently only after the Supreme Court asked why there has been no custodial interrogation so far.
“We keep targeting the CBI and other agencies for working under political pressure. Now the courts are saying so,” the CPI member said amid chants of ‘shame, shame’ by opposition members.
He questioned whether Ali was a “frontman” for some powerful person as “deliberately a soft case” was being pressed against him.
Noting that the court has said the “case was weak” and “documents were fabricated”, Dasgupta wondered whether ED was “incapable of proving the charges” against Ali.
“Is there any political pressure on agencies not to act against Ali? This is a dangerous situation,” he said, adding, “I wish the government makes a statement…It is good for the government to come clean.”
He said some documents of the ED against Ali were also found on the internet. “This is a serious situation because it brings the government under suspicion,” he said.
He was supported by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who said the hefty tax penalty on Ali itself showed that there was something wrong.
Yadav said whether the tax liability of Ali, the 53-year-old Pune-based businessman and stud farm owner, was Rs 50 crore or Rs 50,000 crore, the issue was serious and needed to be probed.
“Government should take action. It should also make it clear as to how much is the penalty imposed on him,” he said, seeking a statement from the government.
The SP leader asked why the investigating agencies were not seriously pursuing cases against Ali when no leader of his party was spared by the CBI. -PTI