Rahat Fateh Ali faces heavy penalties

India charges singer with currency violations after he was allegedly caught with $124,000 in undeclared cash.

Agencies February 19, 2011
Rahat Fateh Ali faces heavy penalties


India charged popular Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan with currency violations on Saturday after he and his entourage were allegedly caught carrying $124,000 in undeclared cash at New Delhi’s airport.

Authorities could impose “heavy penalties” on Rahat and his manager, the Press Trust of India said, quoting unidentified official sources. It was not immediately known what penalties the pair could face while a spokesman for the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi said he was not immediately aware of the charges.

NDTV, however, reported that the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) will now confiscate the currency and the matter has been sent to commissioner customs (Airports) for adjudication. The commissioner will go through the charges and determine the penalty and the quantum. The singer and his manager can leave the country after paying the penalty, NDTV stated.

Rahat, a nephew of the late Pakistani singing great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and his group were boarding a plane to Lahore via Dubai last Sunday when they were detained.

Thirty-seven-year-old Khan is accused of carrying undeclared foreign currency in violation of India’s Foreign Exchange Management Act and customs rules, the Press Trust of India and other media reported.

Rahat’s manager also faces similar charges, the reports said.

The singer was stopped at the airport and his passport confiscated after performing a string of concerts in India. According to Indian customs rules, visitors are allowed to carry only $5,000 in cash in and out of the country.

Central Board of Excise and Customs chairman S Dutt Majumdar said the cash had allegedly been found divided among the musical troupe.

Rahat, a frequent visitor to India, is rated as one of the top “playback” singers in the Hindi film industry.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has several hit songs to his credit and won India’s Filmfare Award for best male playback singer this year.

Khan’s agent Yusuf Salahuddin said the singer was perhaps unaware of India’s stringent foreign currency laws. “He was in India for 10 days and did about seven concerts all across the country and this must have been some of the money which possibly was given to him at the airport,” he told Times Now TV station earlier this week.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2011.


Mastishhk | 13 years ago | Reply @ Wahab...Rahat may not have contributed a penny to the exchequer but that doesn't make him any less of a musician. He is a gifted singer and given us immense pleasure through his singing. So let bygones be bygones. Close this chapter and let Rahat make a new start !!!
wahab | 13 years ago | Reply Good,, Rahat hasnt contributed a penny in tax in Pakistan. Why should we be even concerned
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