Wednesday, August 24, 2011

SIT on black money dislodge other agencies, Centre tells SC

New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday requested the Supreme Court to modify its July 4 judgment conferring unprecedented power on the Special Investigation Team to unearth black money making it a virtual super force waiting to take over every probe machinery under various laws.
“The SIT will dislodge the entire existing investigating set ups under Income Tax Act, Foreign Exchange Management Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act and Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act,” said attorney general G E Vahanvati arguing the Centre’s case before a bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and S S Nijjar.
Reading out the composition of the SIT, Vahanvati wondered as to how the revenue secretary or a CBI director could take away the hierarchy of probe agencies under various laws.
“How did a RBI deputy governor become an investigator? How does the RAW director, who is a faceless and nameless person, get associated in court-appointed SIT? And should the SIT investigate every multi-national investing in India,” asked the attorney general expressing doubts about the workability of the mechanism.
Testing the maintainability of the Centre’s application for modification of the July 4 directions, the bench asked petitioner Ram Jethmalani’s counsel Anil Divan whether the judgment was workable.
Divan raised three preliminary objections and faulted the government’s clarification application saying it was a review in disguise.
He also said that the government was in contempt of the apex court as it had not implemented the July 4 judgment till date and a contemnor had no right of argument.

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