SC more interested in bringing back black money
New Delhi: Supreme Court today said it was more interested in getting the black money stashed abroad back to the country than the disclosure of names of illegal account holders in foreign banks.
“We are interested in money coming back and not on disclosure of names,” a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu said when arguments were advanced that the Government should disclose the names of those who have admitted having illegal accounts in foreign banks.
However, the Bench, also comprising Justices M B Lokur and A K Sikri, accepted the plea of noted jurist Ram Jethmalani, one of the petitioners in the matter, that the apex court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by its Chairman Justice M B Shah and Vice Chairman Justice Arijit Pasayat, consider the various suggestions put forth to bring back illegal black money stashed abroad.
“We permit all parties including the intervenors to bring to the notice of the SIT their suggestions within two weeks from today and if such suggestions are given in time, we only request the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the SIT to consider the same in accordance with law and send a copy of the report to that aspect to this court in a sealed cover,” it said.
The bench clarified that it was not saying anything on the suggestions put forward by Jethmalani in his fresh application and it was for the SIT to consider those.
Jethmalani’s counsel and senior advocate Anil Divan alleged that “not a single rupee has come to this country” in last six months and only some searches and attachment have been conducted.
The apex court also granted three weeks time to Divan to file reply to the stand of the Centre which has so far shown unwillingness to share documents concerning its correspondence with French Government on the issue.
The Centre has taken a stand in its reply in this regard that it has submitted all documents and communications to the SIT which has to take a call for supplying them to the petitioners.
The issue concerns list of 627 Indians who have accounts in HSBC Bank, Geneva, in which tax probe for suspected black money has to be completed by March 31 and was placed before the apex court on October 29 last.
The documents containing correspondence with French authorities, names of the account holders and the status report of the probe conducted so far were submitted in separate sealed covers by the Attorney General which the apex court had not opened.