The demand for bringing back the huge amounts of money illegally stashed in foreign banks grew stronger on Tuesday with a group of prominent citizens moving the Supreme Court, seeking a directive to the Union Government on the issue.
The petitioners, who included prominent jurist and former Union Law Minister Ram Jethmalani, submitted that if the Rs 70 lakh crore, purportedly stashed in foreign banks, are retrieved it would substantially remove poverty in the country and promote its development.
They urged the apex court to direct the Centre to initiate steps with the foreign banks, particularly the UBS Bank, Switzerland, for freezing the accounts of Indian businessmen, politicians and other influential persons illegally holding their assets in such financial institutions.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, asked the petitioners to mention the matter before it tomorrow so that it could examine the plea.
The bench passed the direction after senior counsel Anil Diwan made an impromptu mention before it for an early hearing. The filing of the petition assumes significance as BJP's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani besides, the Left parties and others have been pressing the Government to approach the foreign banks for bringing back the black money.