A bench headed by justice Altamas Kabir passed the order after hearing for two hours arguments put forth by additional solicitor general Haren Rawal, who on behalf of Enforcement Directorate, challenged the bail granted to Mr Khan by the Bombay High Court about a week back
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today extended till 26th August the stay on the bail granted to Pune stud farm owner Hassan Ali Khan, who was arrested in March on charges of money laundering, reports PTI.
A bench headed by justice Altamas Kabir passed the order after hearing for two hours arguments put forth by additional solicitor general (ASG) Haren Rawal, who on behalf of Enforcement Directorate (ED), challenged the bail granted to Mr Khan by the Bombay High Court about a week back.
The apex court fixed Wednesday for further hearing on the matter.
Earlier, in the day, the apex court expressed its ire over non-appearance of the government lawyer when the matter came up for hearing. It threatened to vacate the stay after Mr Rawal failed to appear before it.
"We don't want any such thing. You are playing with the life and liberty of a person. This is unfair on your part to obtain a stay and then cite some excuses," justice Kabir said when told that Mr Rawal was busy in another court.
The apex court said it was not a mere question of ASG but even the attorney general GE Vahanvati was present on 16th August in a connected case and hence one of them should have been present in the court.
Upset over the senior law officer's absence, the bench also rejected the profuse apology tendered by the junior government counsel.
"Apologies will not do. We will be forced to recall our order if your law officer (Haren Rawal) is not present here by 12:30pm," the bench warned.
The three-judge bench had on 16th August stayed Mr Khan's release on bail granted by the Bombay High Court.
The high court had granted bail to 53-year-old Mr Khan on 12th August, observing that the agency had failed to show that the wealth amassed by him was proceeds of crime.
"The documents reveal that Hassan Ali Khan has huge funds in his accounts to the extent of $800 million with a bank outside India," the Enforcement Directorate had said.
The agency, in its petition, alleged that various transactions led by Mr Khan through his foreign bank accounts reveal his association with international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.
"The documents point to deep linkage between Mr Khan and Mr Khashoggi," the agency said while pressing for stay on Bombay High Court's order granting bail to Mr Khan.
The ED had said that Mr Khan and his arrested accomplice Kashinath Tapuriah had deep links with bank officials in the US, Switzerland, Singapore, UAE and other countries.
It had alleged that Mr Khan has links with Mr Khashoggi, and in 2003, $300 million was apparently received by him from the arms dealer from weapon sales.
It had also said the accused had created a complex maze of structures and transactions to hide the true source of funds and frustrate the investigations.
The fall in food inflation numbers could be attributed to a moderation in the rate of price rise of some of the items on a week-on-week basis, even though they continued to grow
New Delhi: Food inflation in India fell to 9.03% for the week ended 6th August even as the price of all items barring pulses rose on an annual basis, reports PTI.
Food inflation, as measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), stood at 9.90% in the previous week. The rate of price rise of food items was 14.51% in the first week of August 2010.
As per data released by government Thursday, price of pulses became cheaper by 5.63% year-on-year during the week under review. However, all other items continued to remain expensive.
Onions were 37.62% more expensive on an annual basis during the week ended 6th August, while prices of fruits went up by 26.46%.
Eggs, meat and fish became dearer by 9.93% and the price of milk was up 9.76% year-on-year.
Cereals and vegetables were up by 6.23% and 2.59%, respectively, while potato prices climbed by 7.22%.
The fall in food inflation numbers could be attributed to a moderation in the rate of price rise of some of the items on a week-on-week basis, even though they continued to grow.
In the previous week ended 30th July, the rate of price rise of items like vegetables, potatoes, milk and egg, meat and fish was more on an annual basis in comparison to the week under review.
The decline could also be attributed to the high inflation figure of over 14% for the corresponding year-ago period, a phenomenon dubbed the 'high base effect' in economic parlance.
Overall, primary articles recorded 11.64% inflation for the week ended 6th August, down from 12.22% in the previous week. Primary articles have a share of over 20% in the WPI.
However, inflation in non-food articles, which include fibres, oil seeds and minerals, went up to 16.07% from 15.05% in the previous week.
Meanwhile, fuel and power inflation stood at 13.13% for the week ended 6th August, up from 12.19% in the week ended 30th July.
Food inflation was in double digits for most of 2010, but started to moderate from March this year.
It fell to 7.33% in mid-July, before again rising to touch a four-and-a-half month high of 9.90% in end-July.
Headline inflation stood at 9.22% in July. The RBI has already hiked interest rates 11 times since March 2010, to tame demand and curb inflation.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council had projected headline inflation to remain high at around 9% till October.
In its Economic Outlook for 2011-12 released earlier this month, the PMEAC said that while pressure from food inflation has fallen in recent months, the rate of price rice still remains quite high, with the possibility of a further surge in coming months.
In his Independence Day address to the nation, prime minister Manmohan Singh said that sometimes the reasons for price rise lay outside the country and added that the government's efforts to tame inflation have not met with lasting success.
"The prices of petroleum products, food grains and edible oil have risen steeply in international markets in recent times. Since we import these products in large quantities, any rise in their prices adds to inflationary pressure in our country," Mr Singh said.
The breakthrough in the battle of attribution between the two sides came in the wee hours of the day after top aides of Mr Hazare met Delhi Police Commissioner BK Gupta and reached an agreement
New Delhi: Civil society activists on Thursday hailed the agreement between the government and Anna Hazare for holding his fast at Ramlila Maidan and demanded that the Jan Lokpal Bill at least be brought to Parliament which could take a call on it, reports PTI.
Expressing happiness at the turn of events, close associate of Mr Hazare and former law minister Shanti Bhushan said the decision to allow Mr Hazare to fast for 15 days showed that his demands were reasonable and that the government should bring in a new Lokpal Bill after consulting the social activist.
"I am very happy that ultimately good sense has prevailed on the government and it has agreed to permit Anna to fast for 15 days and that shows that Anna was never unreasonable in his demands," Mr Bhushan said.
He said the whole country knows that Mr Hazare has maintained that if not 100%, 60%-65% of corruption would be stopped through a strong Lokpal.
Swami Agnivesh hailed the decision to allow Mr Hazare's fast at Ramlila Maidan as a 'victory' of the people in the campaign against corruption.
"It is gratifying to note that government has relented and allowed the fast by Mr Hazare without any conditions and at the chosen venue of Ramlila Maidan," he said.
Activist Arvind Kejriwal, expressing happiness over the decision, said the battle has just begun and they are 'prepared for it'.
Lawyer and Hazare team member Prashant Bhushan said their demand is that government should at least table the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament.
"Our demand is very clear. The government should at least table the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament. Once it is tabled then, let Parliament take a call on that.
"Fasting is a means of arousing conscience of the people, authorities and the government. Even if the government's conscience is not aroused, the conscience of the common man is being aroused given the fact that millions of people are supporting the movement," he said.
Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy welcomed the agreement between government and Team Anna. "In a democracy, there has to be give and take when negotiations take place without sacrificing fundamentals. Then there will always be another day to take up other left out demands. This is the Gandhian way."
Shanti Bhushan also said that Team Hazare has never contested Parliament's authority to pass laws. "What we are saying is that Parliament should pass a bill in accordance with the aspirations of the people."
He said the Team Hazare wants a 'strong' Lokpal which will be accountable to Supreme Court. "If there is any complaint against any member of Lokpal then the Supreme Court will look into it."
After two nights in Tihar Jail and hard bargaining, Mr Hazare and government reached an agreement early this morning under which Delhi Police removed all restrictions and allowed him to carry out his hunger strike for a fortnight in the spacious Ramlila Maidan.
The breakthrough in the battle of attribution between the two sides came in the wee hours of the day after top aides of Mr Hazare met Delhi Police Commissioner BK Gupta and reached an agreement.
The deal marks a major climb-down from government and police's earlier insistence that the fast would be allowed at JP Park, a smaller venue, only for three days with maximum of 5,000 protesters besides a number of other conditions.