SC picks holes in ED probe
Even as the Enforcement Directorate claimed it had made a "substantial breakthrough" in the black money probe, the Supreme Court on Monday slammed government agencies for not investigating the case from the national security angle and failing to pinpoint the source of money. Timelinedelhi Updated: Mar 29, 2011 00:26 IST
Even as the Enforcement Directorate claimed it had made a "substantial breakthrough" in the black money probe, the Supreme Court on Monday slammed government agencies for not investigating the case from the national security angle and failing to pinpoint the source of money.
A bench of justice B Sudershan Reddy and justice SS Nijjar, which perused a status report filed by the ED, expressed anger over the manner in which the probe agencies were handling the case and suggested the setting up of a special investigation team (SIT) comprising officers of the Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing, Central Bureau of Investigation, Income Tax Department and ED.
Besides the ED probe, Khan is also facing a Rs 70,000-crore tax demand notice from the Income-Tax Department.
"After looking at the status report, it is very difficult to be calm and quiet," the bench said. The bench is hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani and others seeking the court’s direction to the government to take steps to bring back huge amounts of black money stashed in foreign banks. It wondered why the probe was focused only around Pune stud-farm owner Hasan Ali Khan.
"No further information is forthcoming from you. The whole concentration is focused only on one individual. What about others? We would like to know what progress has been made in each case," the bench said. "Why have all these agencies been sleeping since 2008? Why did they move only when we stepped in? If a writ petition had not been filed, nothing would have happened."
Stating that people already knew about the Khan's alleged involvement in the case, the bench sought to know why the government was claiming a privilege over documents relating to black money.
"Tell us why are you are claiming privilege? Why cannot they (names of people) be disclosed? Let the people of the country know what is happening," the bench said.