Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hasan Ali Khan must not leave country, SC tells govt

Govt Ready To Divulge LGT A/C Holders’ Name After proceedings
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday stepped up pressure on the Centre to divulge the names of foreign bank account holders who allegedly stashed black money while asking it to ensure that one of the main suspects Hasan Ali Khan did not leave the country.
   A Bench comprising Justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar wondered whether Khan was still in India. "We hope you (Centre) are taking proper steps to ensure he does not leave the country. It's your duty to ensure he is made available," it said.
   The government said he was still in India and would not be allowed to leave the country. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax Department are investigating an alleged transaction of $8 billion in the name of Rheema Khan, wife of Hasan Ali Khan, from the UBS Bank in Switzerland.
   Appearing for petitioner and former law minister Ram Jethmalani, senior advocate Anil Divan had alleged that precious little had been done on the alleged illegal transfer of huge sums from UBS Bank by Pune-based businessman Khan and his associate Kashinath Tapuria.
   The court also was unimpressed by the government's reluctance to divulge the names of Indians accused of having parked illicit money in foreign banks citing the confidentiality clause in the Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty (DTAA).
   On the refusal to disclose details about 18 Indians holding accounts in LGT Bank, Liechtenstein, the Bench told Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam, "Make up your mind whether you can make the disclosure." It fixed the matter for further hearing on March 3.
   The government through Subramanium assured the court that the names would be disclosed once cases against the individuals are lodged. "At present, the government is bound by the confidentiality clause in the DTAA, under which Germany had provided the information," he said.
   Till now, the government has issued Letters Rogatory to authorities in UAE, the UK, the US, Singapore and Hong Kong for getting cooperation and information against individuals who have parked black money in banks there.
   This information was supplied to the court in a sealed cover.

No comments:

Post a Comment