Mumbai: The controversial Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali has been granted bail by the Bombay High Court in seven cases filed by the Income Tax Department for allegedly evading tax to the tune of Rs one lakh crore during 2001 to 2007.
Hearing Ali's plea yesterday, Justice Abhay Thipsay granted him bail in the sum of Rs one lakh in each case. Earlier, Ali, who has been in the custody for three years and eight months, was granted bail by the High Court in cases filed against him under Prevention of Money Laundering Act and Passport Act.
"As Hasan Ali has got bail in all the cases filed against him, he will soon be released from prison...it is a matter of a couple of days before he comes out from jail. We have to organise sureties and the money to complete the formalities. We are also awaiting copy of bail order," said his lawyer Ranjeet Sangle.
Ali is at present lodged at Arthur Road jail here. The Income Tax Department had filed seven separate cases in 2009 against Ali, alleging that he had not filed IT returns for assessment years 2001 to 2007. Ali's lawyers Abaad Ponda and Ranjeet Sangle argued he had filed IT returns for this period belatedly in 2007.
They also pointed out that Ali was 64 years old and was in jail for over three years, so he should be released. Not filing IT returns was a bailable offence, they said. The department, however, opposed his bail plea saying that investigations were still on.
Ali was arrested under PMLA in 2011 on the charges of money laundering and stashing huge amounts of black money in foreign banks. He is also accused of obtaining five passports in different names.