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Black Money: Government Gives 26 Names
May 01, 2014

The Central government gave to the Supreme Court the names, documents and related information regarding 26 persons who reportedly had accounts in foreign banks, as disclosed by German authorities about three years ago. The details were handed to the judges by the solicitor general in two sealed envelopes.

The first cover contained names, documents and information regarding 18 persons against whom an investigation by income tax authorities has concluded and prosecution initiated against 17. One person has since died. These mainly relate to accounts in Liechtenstein Bank in Germany. The second envelope contained details of eight others, against whom investigations have concluded without any evidence of tax evasion.

Noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani moved a petition for disclosure of the names, handed over three names of former Supreme Court judges, one of whom will chair the Special Investigation Team (SIT) proposed to look into the issue of a large sum of money stashed abroad. Former judge M.B. Shah has consented to be vice-chairman but ex SC-judge Jeevan Reddy was not willing to head it. In view of this, the new list has been presented to the court.

The government vehemently protested against setting up of the SIT, and insisted the present machinery is sufficient to investigate tax frauds and deposit of black money in Swiss and German banks.

Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran reiterated the government’s objection to the disclosure of names of individuals who have accounts in the tax havens. He submitted that such disclosures would violate the Indo-German treaty and protocols, apart from the Constitution. Even courts are barred from infringing the confidentiality of the accounts. The information should be used only for tax purposes.


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