Mumbai, Aug 12: In a setback to the Enforcement Directorate, the Bombay High Court today granted bail to Pune stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan, saying the anti-money laundering agency had failed to show that wealth allegedly amassed by him was proceeds of crime.
“There are no ingredients of proceeds of crime in the case made out by the Enforcement Directorate against the applicant. He deserves to be released on bail,” Justice A M Thipsay observed while granting him bail on a surety of Rs 5 lakh.
Khan was arrested in March this year by ED and booked under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for allegedly stashing USD 800 million in various banks in countries like the US, Switzerland and Singapore.
The court while ordering release of Khan on bail directed him to present himself at ED office everyday and stay either in Mumbai or Pune.
The court rejected the plea of Additional Solicitor General Darius Khambata, appearing for ED, to stay its order for a week to enable the agency to appeal against the judgement in the Supreme Court.
“The court has already considered all aspects of the case before granting bail. There is no apprehension that he (Khan) would abscond or tamper with evidence. Hence there is no necessity to stay the bail order,” the Judge said.
As soon as the news was conveyed to Khan, who was brought to the lower court for extension of judicial custody, the businessman collapsed in the court compound.
“Hasan collapsed inside the court compound after hearing that Bombay High Court had granted him liberty. He was rushed to St George's hospital in south Mumbai,” said his lawyer, I A Bagaria. PTI