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SC seeks update on unaccounted money parked offshore

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New Delhi, April 21:

The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday asked the Special Investigation Team to submit by May 12 for its consideration the status report on its work on bringing back unaccounted money stashed away in tax havens abroad.

Supreme CourtThe directive came in the light of jurist Ram Jethmalani telling the apex court on Tuesday that there were determined attempts to frustrate its judgment asking government to make every effort to bring back the unaccounted money stashed away to tax havens.

The SIT, headed by the former judge of the apex court Justice M.B. Shah and Justice Arijit Pasayat as vice-chairman, is investigating the flight of unaccounted money to tax havens. The apex court receives status report from the SIT on the work being done by it.

Addressing the apex court bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu, Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice A.K. Sikri, Jethmalani told the court that there are “determined efforts to frustrate the judgment of this court and recover the money stashed abroad”.

Jethmalani told the court that he wanted to share some information with it which will “shock” the judges.

Telling the court that judges were as much interested in recovering the money for the nation as anybody else.

“You are as much interested in recovering the (stashed away) money for the nation as anybody else. I am not receiving my personal money. I am also helping the nation to get the money back,” Jethmalani told the court, as it asked him to reserve his submissions for a later stage of the hearing of the matter.

The apex court by its January 20 order had asked Justice Shah and Justice Pasayat to consider the suggestions by Jethmalani and lawyer Prashant Bhushan on the way forward to bring back illegal black money stashed abroad.

The court had said that SIT would consider these suggestion in accordance with the law of the land. The court had said that SIT would communicate to the apex court its views on these suggestions in a sealed cover.

The court asked the SIT to submit its report noting that it had hoped that the report must have been already with it (apex court).

In the last hearing of the matter January 20, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had told the court that the tax assessment of all the people whose names have come to the government from various sources including from the French government would be completed by March 31, 2015 — a deadline committed by the government to complete the task. (IANS)