Thursday, January 27, 2011

Why no action on black money, SC asks govt

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the government to widen the scope of its action on black money beyond the issue of tax evasion, questioning why it had not gone after those who had stashed huge amounts of money abroad or inquired about the source of the siphoned funds. 
   The Centre explained the difficulty in revealing the names of foreign bank account holders who were in the zone of suspicion for parking illegal funds abroad. However, an unimpressed court persisted, “You know the names, why have you not gone after them to ascertain the source of the money.”
   A Bench comprising Justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar did not relent on its week-old stand that black money, which some estimates put at $1 trillion, was “plunder of the nation” and “pure and simple theft of Indian economy”.
   The Centre had handed to the court a list of 26 Indians who allegedly kept black money in Leichtenstein’s LGT Bank and said tax authorities had initiated proceedings against 18 of them.
   The court’s query relating to source of black money was based on its apprehension that it could be from extortion rackets, arms running, drug smuggling or terrorism-related activities.
   Asking for a better response on action taken by Tuesday, the Bench said, “They are people and citizens of this country. They are amenable to our law. What have you (government) done after you came to know that X amount of money has been stashed away by them.” 

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